FERS, military buyback and retirement


Q. I am a government employee with slightly less than three years of service.

I recently paid my military deposit of $6,000 so I could buy into FERS. I also recently learned I will soon be leaving government service before completing three years.

1) What happens to the $6,000 I deposited?

2) If I leave it in the system, will I get a retirement benefit when I reach age 62 in a just few years?

A. You have two choices. You can leave your contributions and deposit in the retirement fund or ask for a refund of the entire amount. If you leave them in the fund, you won’t be eligible for retirement benefit unless you return to work for the government. To be vested in the retirement system, you have to have at least five years of actual FERS service.


About Author

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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