FERS and military buyback


Q. I am a 50-year-old FERS employee with 13 years of active duty and will have 15 years of federal civil service upon my ETS (active duty 1985-1998, FERS employee 1998 — September 2013 with no break in service). I am being militarily selected out due to force reductions and my FERS job is dependent on my military status (which I will no longer have, deeming me ineligible for my ANG federal civil service position). I bought back my military time and am now being told that my military time buyback does not count toward time for the FERS supplement, leaving me with only 15 years as a FERS employee rather than the 28 years I thought I should have. Is this accurate? Will I ever receive the supplement?

A. Yes, it is accurate. The special retirement supplement is paid by OPM out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, not by the Social Security Administration. Therefore, it is based solely on actual FERS service. You will begin receiving the SRS when you reach your minimum retirement age, which in your case is 56.


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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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