Military buyback and special retirement supplement


Q. I am a postal worker who started my 25th year of service in May. I am buying back my military time of six years and will have it paid at the end of this year. I will be 49 this year.

Since my minimum retirement age is 56, is there any chance of receiving the Social Security supplement between 50 and 55 if I retired under a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority? Must I be 56 regardless of the number of years of service to receive it?

When I pay off my military time later this year, how is the time added? Will my service computation date be changed to June 1981? Will my Form 50 reflect the change, and what effect (if any) will it have on my seniority within the service?

A. There is no provision on law that would allow you to receive the special retirement supplement before you reach your minimum retirement age. When you complete the deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, that fact will be reflected in your service computation date, verified on a Standard Form 50, and used to determine your total years of service and to calculate your annuity. On the other hand, it will have no effect on your seniority, which is based solely on your years of actual civilian employment.


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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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