Military buyback


Q. I served eight years and five months in the Army. I left on a service-connected disability with $22,000 in severance pay, which, over the years, has been paid back. I have been working as a temporary GS-13, Step 1, for seven months and I just received an offer for a permanent GS-12, Step 7. I wanted to get an idea as to what the cost might be for me to buy back my military service. They gave full credit for service when I started as a GS-13 (service computation date Sept. 22, 2004).

A. You need to complete Form RI-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to your military finance center with a copy of your DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When you learn what your earnings were, take a copy of that letter, a copy of your DD 214, and a Standard Form 3108 to your local payroll office. They’ll determine how much you owe and arrange for you to make payments, if that’s what you decide to do. Note: The RI and Standard Form are available at, click on Forms.


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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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