Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Military buyback and creditable service

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Q. I am considering retirement soon but would like to know if paying back my military time is a wise decision. I am 60 years old and will have 35 years civil service time. I do not have enough quarters to draw Social Security and never plan to. Will my annuity be based just on those 35 years, or will it be based on my actual service computation date, which would add four years?

A. Quite a few CSRS employees with long service are in the same situation. When you retire, your annuity will be based on a combination of your actual service and your active-duty service. If you retire before age 62 and aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, you’ll continue to receive an annuity based on both kinds of service. The same is true if you retire at or after age 62 and aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit at that time. The Office of Personnel Management only checks once.

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