Reservist military buyback and federal employment


Q. I’m a retired reservist and a new federal employee. I understand I can buy back some or all of my active-duty time and not affect my reserve retirement when I turn 60 in 6½ years.

I have DD-214s for deployments and activations totaling 4.4 years. I also have my Air Force Reserve Point Credit Summary, which shows my active duty time to be 2,112 days, or about 5.8 years. This additional 1.4 years includes my two-week tours and other active-duty man-days and short tours not covered by a DD-214.

Can I buy credit for this additional 1.4 years of active-duty time? I believe I have my orders that prove or show my rank during the periods that make up this additional time. (FYI, the Air Force, for leave/service date purposes, has also given me credit for this 5.8 years, which includes my two-week tours and active-duty man-days and short tours not covered by DD-214s.)

A. Neither your agency nor OPM can determine which portions of your service are creditable. Only your branch of service can do that. You need to complete Form RI 20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service (available at; click on Find Form(s)), and mail it, along with your DD Form(s) 214, Report of Earnings or Discharge and any other documentation you have on hand, to the finance center for your branch of service. In your case that’s DFAS-Indianapolis Center, Attn: Verification Section (Estimated Earnings), 8899 E. 56th St., Indianapolis, IN46249-0875. When you get the information back, you can take it to your payroll office along with your DD 214s, etc., and they’ll let you know the amount of your active-duty service and how much you’d have to deposit to get credit for it.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply