Q. I have 20 years of military service and receive military retirement. I’ve been in FERS for 10 years. I’ve always been told that buying back military retirement wasn’t a good idea. What steps do I need to obtain all the facts necessary to find out if it would benefit me?
A. If you made the deposit, you’d automatically have your years of service increased by 10 years and used in the computation of your annuity. 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 http://www.opm.gov, click on Forms.) Note: When you retire from your civilian job, you’d have to waive your military retired pay. Doing so will have no affect on your other military benefits.