Q. I have two years of military service, from 1974-1976. I have worked for the federal government for 15 years, Is it worth buying back the time?
A. It all depends. While I can tell you what you’d get if you made a deposit to get credit for that time, I can’t tell you how much it would cost you. If you made the deposit, you’d automatically have your years of service increase by two and your annuity by 2 percent. To find out what you’d owe, complete OPM form RI 20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it, along with a copy of your DD 214, to the military finance center for your branch of service. When you receive that estimate, take it to your payroll office, along with copies of your DD 214 and a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Deposit or Redeposit, and ask for an estimate of the amount you’d owe, plus accrued interest. Once you have that information, you can decide if the benefit is worth the cost. (The OPM and Standard forms are available for download at www.opm.gov; click on Forms.)