Buyback patience


Q. How may I check on the status of my military buyback (P-56), as a Federal Employees Retirement System employee seeking retirement? My Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (Fort Hood, Texas) and I spent a year (two years ago) going over the rules and regulations affecting the size of my future pension (with and without a military buyback). I have 9½ years active duty from 1969 to 1979, 17 previous years (Civil Service Retirement System), from 1980 to 1997 (I resigned). And, I now have accumulated five current years (2006-2011) as FERS.

The later counseling included sending my DD-214s and the RI-20-97 packet to obtain the estimate for a military buyback. After we received the dollar amount ($9,240), counseling included Fort Hood CPAC faxing my DD-214s and the SF-3108 packet to Army Benefits Center-Civilian at Fort Riley, Kan., in September 2010.  I received a copy of the packet from ABC-C showing they had faxed it to Defense Finance and Accounting Service in October 2010. I have yet to see the dollar amount appear in block 20 (military deposit) of my leave and earnings statement. I have yet to receive any letter from DFAS. Both my CPAC, and ABC-C are unable to check the status. My CPAC tells me that they cannot process my FERS retirement papers until I pay the military buyback. They both tell me to just be patient and wait. Am I being too anxious? I already know the dollar amount.

A. I don’t know if you are too anxious; however, you have no choice but to be patient.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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