Q. I have over 12 years of active duty service in the Army. I have accepted a job with a federal agency. I’ve been told that I can “buy back” my active duty time. How do I go about doing that?
A. Yes, you can make a deposit for your active duty service and get credit for that time in determining your length of civilian service and have it used in your civilian annuity computation when you retire from the government. If you complete that deposit within two years after you come on board, you won’t be charged any interest on the amount you owe.
To make a deposit, you’ll have to complete a copy of form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to your military finance center with a copy of your DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When they get back to you, take that letter, a copy of your DD-214 and Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, to your local payroll office and request an estimate of the deposit required. They can arrange a payment schedule or you can deposit the amount in a lump sum. You can get copies of the RI and Standard Forms from your personnel office or download them at www.opm.gov/forms.