Military deposit

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Q. I’m considering resigning later this year at 54 with 14 years civil service (MRA is 56 years 2 months). I have a 20-year military retirement (retired 2004) and am considering paying the military deposit (estimate $20,000 or so). I also get $660 VA disability (40 percent) that equates to an additional $7,920 per year that wouldn’t be taken from a civilian annuity like it currently is from my military retirement.
If I resign at 54 on a deferred retirement with 34 years creditable service (20 military plus 14 civilian) and don’t start taking the annuity until 60 (when it would be penalty free), would I be able to delay paying the military deposit until right before 60 and continue to get my military retirement until right before my actual retirement annuity would start?

A. Yes, you can delay making that deposit and waving your military retired pay.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

3 Comments

  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    In 2013 and again in 2017, OPM issued a Benefit Administrative Letter saying military deposits must be made to the agency prior to separation upon which a retirement is based. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/2017/17-101.pdf

    In addition, if you have 34 years of service, you would be eligible to draw your unreduced pension at your Minimum Retirement Age, you would not have to wait until age 60.

  2. I believe that the comments made by ELAINE LUMSDEN, as noted above, are correct.

    Yes, at a 40% VA disability, this disability pay is taken from your military retirement. If in the event that your VA disability rating later increases to 50% or higher after reevaluation of your medical condition, you would be eligible for “Concurrent Receipt” in which you could receive your full military retirement pay and full VA disability pay. It is not uncommon for VA rated conditions to worsen over time, making the veteran eligible for a higher percent rating.

    Keep in mind, when you “buy back” your active duty time, it will be subject to the FERS reduced COLA.

    All things to keep in mind before you make the decision. You have to run the numbers through all possible scenarios present/future.

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