Military buyback and disability retirement


Q. I served in the Army from June 1975 to July 1978 (three years). I started working for the Postal Service in June 1985 for a total of 28.5 years. I have applied for disability retirement (FERS). I would like to buy back my military years, thus I requested the RI 20-97 and have sent it out with my DD-214 and am waiting. Can I buy these years now in the middle of this disability retirement process? If so, how would this delay or hurt the process?

A. Yes, you can. However, you need to be aware that doing so would have no effect on your disability annuity, which is based solely on your high-3. It would only affect your benefit at age 62, when your disability annuity would be converted to a regular annuity.


About Author

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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