Appealing the interest on military buyback


Q. I am in the process of buying back active-duty service time. I served in the Marines from 1982 to 1986, and started with the Postal Service in 1987. I am 47 years old.

For the Marine Corps service, I received the PS Form 2805 with the initial amount due as $1,050.48 and interest of $2,612.74, totaling $3,663.20. I find out there was no penalty or interest during the first two years.

This was never explained when hired. Is there an appeal process for the interest?

Also, I have three other periods of National Guard active service being looked into. The periods cover 2003 to 2004, 2006 to 2008, and 2008 to 2009.  All four periods total more than eight years of active time.

What are the pros and cons of buying back the time? How will this affect my retired pay from the National Guard I will start receiving when I turn 58?

A. You cannot appeal the interest payment because the rules governing deposits to get credit for periods of active-duty service are a matter of law.

As for whether it’s worth it to make a deposit for your other periods of active-duty service, bear in mind that each month for which you get credit would increase your annuity by 5/12 percent (1 percent per year). Further, making a deposit would have no effect on your entitlement to retired pay from the National Guard.


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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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