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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

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The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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Note: FederalSoup.com has attempted to compile information that is as accurate and current as possible for federal employees. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. Therefore, no warranties are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this column. If additional clarification or information is needed, it is suggested that competent and professional assistance be sought. Mr. Zurndorfer does not moderate other forums on FederalSoup and will not reply to general FederalSoup inquiries submitted in this Q&A forum.

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#1 Posted : Thursday, September 16, 2010 12:39:02 AM(UTC)

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I am a military retiree with 26 years of Active Duty service. 
I am currently employeed with the FAA. 
I am confused on the the buy back of service for retirement for retirees.  Here are a couple of questions or clarifications I am searching for:
Does the "waiver of military retired pay" exist upon my FERS retirement? In other words if I buy back my military service credit, will I still continue collect my monthly retirement check up uintil I retire from federal service at which time I will only get the 1 FERS annuity?
Is the service deposit that is formulated based upon my military service, essentially a catch up of deductions that equates to what the monthly FERS deduction is on my LES? 
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 28, 2010 9:25:15 AM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

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Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 4,414

From OPM's Web site at www.opm.gov/retire is the following information with respect to waiving one's military retirement pay for active duty:

"If you want to waive your military retired pay to receive credit for military service in the computation of your benefit, you should write the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement.  Send
your waiver to:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retirement Pay
P.O. Box 7130
London, KY 40742-7130

You can "fax" your request to 1 (888) 469-6559.

Suggested wording for your request is as follows:
"I (full name and military serial number) hereby waive my military retired
pay for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) purposes effective (the day before your annuity begins).

I hereby authorize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to withhold from
my CSRS or FERS annuity any amount of military retired pay granted beyond the
effective date of this waiver due to any delay in receiving or processing this request."

From this information, an employee must waive his or her military retirement pay for active duty at least 60 days before he or she retires from federal service. Any military retirement pay received after the federal employee retires must be returned. Also, the sooner you make your full military deposit, the less interest you would have to pay.

The military deposit is equal to 3 percent of an employee's total base pay while serving in the military. If the full deposit is made within 3 years of an employee's federal hire date, then no interest will be charged. FERS employees contribute .8 percent of their paychecks to the FERS Retirement and Disability Fund (this shows up on an employee's Statement of Earnings and Leave). A deposit for military service is more than three times than what an employee contributes via payroll deduction to FERS.

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