Waiver for military buyback program


Q. I am a federal agent under FERS. I served for seven years on active duty in the military. I started making my payments to buy back my military time when I was a Border Patrol agent. I was able to pay $315 before I resigned my position. After six months of “break in service”, I started working as an immigration agent for ICE. As soon I started with ICE, I requested to keep paying the same amount to the military buyback program, and my agency told me that I had to start the paperwork again. After seven months, the agency told me that it will use the same numbers that the Border Patrol gave me. I am requesting a waiver to be able to get back the seven months that I wasted waiting for my new agency to tell me how much my payments will be; ICE said that there is no waiver. Now I have only one year to make my payments before I have to start paying interest. Do you think there is any way to get my seven months back? Also, how much interest will I have to pay? How do they make the calculations?

A. No, you cannot get a waiver. You’ll have three years minus one day to complete the deposit before interest begins to accrue on the unpaid balance. It does that once a year. While it isn’t possible to predict what interest rates will be in the future, the interest rate  this year is 2.25 percent.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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