Q. I recently paid off my military buyback. Am I supposed to receive some type of form? Will it be reflected on my SF-50 or Leave and Earnings Statement? I currently work for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A. Your agency will receive a Standard Form 3100 and put it in your official personnel folder. To be sure that has happened, you’ll have to check with your personnel office.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. V.A. payroll is processed through DFAS. If you paid off your military service deposit through payroll deduction, YOU have to request a “Paid in Full” letter through your DFAS CSR. This is generally the person you would go to for payroll problems. Once you get the Paid in Full letter, give a copy to HR and ask it be uploaded to your e-OPF. According to the DFAS website:

    “8.After you have paid your military deposit in full by check, money order or, your payroll office will send you a Paid-in-Full Letter. If your military deposit is paid-in-full by payroll deductions, you must request a Paid-in-Full Letter through your human resources office or Customer Service Representative (CSR).”

    I am assuming once you give the Paid in Full letter to HR, they SHOULD request the SF-3100 be generated. But as Reg said, follow up and make sure they do.

    • David McKay on

      Correct for the VA you need to have the person assisting your military buyback (HR or Payroll) request a Paid in Full letter be mailed to you once your military buyback is paid in full. Then you must get the letter scanned into your electronic personnel folder along with copies of other buyback paperwork and a copy of your leave and earnings statement showing your deposit is paid in full to complete the process.

      For the VA, box 20 of your leave and earnings statement “Military Deposit” shows both the amount you have paid and the amount you still owe. If your military deposit is paid in full, the amount next to the “OWED” line should be either BLANK or $0.00.

  2. and even though you do ALL stated above, when u go to retire, it will all surface again and please be ready to show ur paperwork to CYA cuz those HR’s are a bunch of idiots.

    • Great advise. Keep a paper copy of all your military buyback paperwork, especially Paid in Full letters + copy of leave and earnings statement with box 20 showing military buyback PAID IN FULL. Store these copies in a safe location along with your original DD 214 and other important papers.

      Even though you electronic personnel folder may show your paid in full letter was added sometimes it can just “disappear” just at the time you request retirement and your military time NOT added to your service computation!

  3. I echo Karen M’s comments. When I finally got my finalized (Blue Book) annuity, it was short the two years for which I had paid the military buyback. Luckily I had the Paid In Full letter because there was not other record except my cancelled check and OPM would not accept that as proof of payment

  4. Ernest Thompson on

    Mr. Jones, I was medically retired from th service with 17years of service. I currently work for the dept of veterans affairs and would like to know if I buy back my military time. How would this affect my disability retirement/ Would I lose it.. And please comment f this is a good idea or not as everyone keeps telling me nothing will happen to my retirement but I’m pretty nervous about this

    • Years of service have no affect on the amount an employee receives in his disability benefit. However, at age 62, your annuity would be recomputed. If you hadn’t made a deposit for that active duty time, those years wouldn’t be included in the computation.

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