Canceling military buyback


Q: Upon joining government service, I exercised the option to buy back my
military service of more than 24 years and paid military deposit of a little more than $3,386. I plan to retire from government service in two or three years, but I am having second thoughts about it now because of the prospect of losing my military benefits, whether all of them or just some, I have no idea, and would like to know. If I’d lose my military ID card, Comstore, NEX and pharmacy privileges, then I would like to reverse or cancel my buyback option.
1. What specific military benefits/privileges do I stand to lose with the buyback?
2. How do I request reversal or cancellation of my military deposit?
3. Where do I find specific information about my questions.

A: I’m not aware that you would lose any military benefits by waiving your military retired pay; however, to be sure, you should follow up with your branch of service. There are only two ways that you could get a refund of your retirement contributions. First, if you aren’t eligible to retire, you could resign from the government and ask for a refund of all your retirement contributions, which would void your entitlement to a civilian annuity. Second, at retirement, you could decide not to waive your military retired pay, which would result in an automatic refund of your deposit. You can find this information at


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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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