FERS and military buyback


Q. I am a FERS employee in the process of buying back my military time — however, I am not sure if there is an advantage to it.

If I buy back my military time (13 years, at a cost of $7,367.50), have a service computation date of September 1984 for federal service and am 58, what possible benefit could be gained? If an early retirement is offered, would I be eligible, and if so, would it be beneficial to accept early retirement —- or stay until I am 62 to 65?

A. If you completed your deposit, you’d be eligible for an immediate, unreduced annuity. And that annuity would be 13 percent higher because you’d have gotten credit for your 13 years of active-duty service.

Based on your age and service (not counting military time), you are eligible for early retirement if offered that opportunity by your agency. As for whether it’s better to keep working than retire, that’s up to you. The financial advantage is that each additional year would increase your annuity by 1 percent. However, if you worked to age 62, your entire annuity would be calculated using a higher multiplier, 1.1 instead of 1 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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