Military buyback and CSRS


Q. I have not paid back my military deposit of approximately $7,000 and am not sure if it would be wise to. I am 59 and have 34 years in CSRS without my service time. I also do not have enough credits with Social Security to receive benefits. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

A. Because you were first hired before Oct. 1, 1982, you’ll get credit for that period of active-duty service in your annuity computation even if you don’t make a deposit. If you are retired and won’t be eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, nothing will change. The same is true if you retire at or after your 62nd birthday and aren’t eligible. However, if you are eligible for a Social Security benefit at either of those points and haven’t made a deposit, that active-duty service will be dropped and your annuity recomputed without it.


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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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