Military buyback and annuity computation


Q. I am 63 years old with more than 43 years of creditable service under CSRS and plan on retiring next year. I retired from the Air National Guard as a traditional guardsman with 39 years of service and am receiving my Guard pension. The only active service time I had was my initial five months of training, which I never bought back.

I am eligible for Social Security, and I am looking into the cost of buying that military time. But since I am already past the 41-year, 11-month mark for the 80 percent maximum payable annuity, I am not sure how not buying this small amount of military time would affect my CSRS pension. Could you please enlighten me?

A. Making a deposit to get credit for that time wouldn’t make much sense. If you did, the money — minus accumulated interest — would be refunded to you (along with your other excess contributions), and you’d be offered the opportunity to purchase additional annuity, which isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit. Because you are 63, every $100 of that refunded money would increase your annuity by $8.60 a year.


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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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