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OverQualified  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 13, 2017 6:10:20 AM(UTC)
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BLUF/TLDR: Does bought back military time count fully toward retirement in the civilian service or only toward benefit calculation?

I'm a new civilian employee coming over from the military. When I arrived at this job, the HR person briefed me on benefits. She explained to me that my military time will count toward the benefit calculation, provided I buy back my time, but it will not count toward eligibility.

In other words, if my requirement to retire is 20 years and age 57, I still have to do a full 20 years in the civilian service to retire at 57, but then my 11 years in the military will be taken into account when my percentage is calculated. So the 11 years doesn't help me get to the 20 years requirement to retire, but I will be paid as though I did 31 years once I fulfill the 20 year requirement strictly with civilian time.

Sorry if I over-explained that, but it seems like something that could be misunderstood if someone was just looking at this quickly.

Now, at first I was inclined to believe her. I had no reason not to, and she's (supposed to be) the expert. However, after realizing that she gave me other information about the military that was clearly incorrect, I decided to check this assertion on the internet. So far I have found nothing that makes this eligibility vs. benefit distinction. Every reference to military time toward retirement simply states that if you buy back your time, it counts. Seems like if there was an important distinction like this, it would have been mentioned in the 5 or 6 articles I read about the topic. On the other hand, I have not read anything that explicitly refutes her claim either. Hence why I am here looking for a definitive answer.
roger.d  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2017 6:45:07 PM(UTC)
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http://www.federalretire....net/militarybuyback.htm



Quote:
When you make a military deposit your military service time will be added to your federal service when calculating your retirement annuity. It does not count towards the minimum time needed for retirement. In other words, if you hire into the federal service at age 58, your must work at least 5 years to age 63 to be eligible to collect an annuity - not counting military buyback time. Review FERS retirement eligibility requirements first. In the situation mentioned above, if you purchased back 4 years of military time you would be able to retire at age 63 with 9 years towards retirement. Instead of receiving an annuity calculated at 5 % of your average high three salary at age 63 after working 5 years it would increase to 9% of your high three average salary. [quote/]
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captmarc  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:47:37 AM(UTC)
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roger.d has the answer. The time is added on.. it's a good buy IIRC, 3% of MIlitary earnings. The ROI is good. You can also make payments thru payroll deductions.
You should receive annual leave based on your previous military time. So you'll start with 6 hours pp (instead of 4)

good luck
MArc
Stupified  
#4 Posted : Friday, December 1, 2017 3:04:34 PM(UTC)

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Quick tag on to this ... does ANG time count at all? If so is it only the annual training time and/or the initial basic and tech school time (federal time)?


roger.d  
#5 Posted : Friday, December 1, 2017 6:12:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Stupified Go to Quoted Post
Quick tag on to this ... does ANG time count at all? If so is it only the annual training time and/or the initial basic and tech school time (federal time)?




Your Federal time.

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Stupified  
#6 Posted : Saturday, December 2, 2017 2:21:27 AM(UTC)

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Quick mind calc comes up with around 30 weeks total. 7 years of 2 weeks each, 6 weeks basic, and 8-10 weeks tech school. Not sure what that would 'cost' or what it would yield in FERS monthlies.



Stupified  
#7 Posted : Sunday, December 3, 2017 5:39:09 AM(UTC)

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Most likely won't be worth any effort. From what I read in some links, it looks like OPM can determine that when I start the paper work with them next summer.

roger.d  
#8 Posted : Sunday, December 3, 2017 10:44:00 AM(UTC)
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The effort is minimal.

You ask your HR office for the paperwork to fill out. Likely a single sheet. Send that and probably your DD-214 to the office for your military branch of service. They send you an earnings statement. You send that back to your HR. They compute the deposit needed. You receive that information and determine if you want to write a check, have payroll deductions set up, or forget about it.

Total time you invest, less than 15 minutes and a couple of stamps.

Get the facts before you decide to not do it.
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Stupified  
#9 Posted : Sunday, December 3, 2017 2:03:35 PM(UTC)

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See, that's the thing. There is no HR department. I've been out of Uncle Sam's grasp since '98, but I haven't applied for FERS yet since I'm not yet eligible. I have the NGB 22 in hand, separated from there in '84.

So, it won't be as simple as someone still actively employed.

I know I won't be getting much from FERS to begin with only having around 7 years in civilian service. I'm not expecting much though but anything will help on top of SS.


Come next summer once I get within the six month processing window, I'll get with OPM and see what they come up with. I just wasn't sure if I should even mention the Guard time to them.


roger.d  
#10 Posted : Sunday, December 3, 2017 8:55:40 PM(UTC)
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The longer you wait, the more interest accumulates.

IIRC, the deposit needs to be done BEFORE you retire. Or in your case, before you claim the benefit. So the longer you wait, the longer before you are able to claim your benefit.

Make copies and get the ball rolling.
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4thgenvet  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 10:51:53 AM(UTC)
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the steps to buy back mil time


1. fill out RI 20-97 on line at https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/RI20-97.pdf attach copy of DD-214 and mail to your service branch

Marine Corps
DFAS-Cleveland Center
Attn.: DFAS-CL/JFLTC
1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199-2005

Navy
DFAS-Cleveland Center
Attn.: DFAS-CL/JFLAGB
1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199-2005

Air Force
DFAS-Indianapolis Center
Attn.: Verifications Section (Estimated Earnings)
8899 East 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-0875

Army
DFAS-Indianapolis Center
Attn.: Verifications Section (Estimated Earnings)
8899 East 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-0865

2. Then wait, for form DFAS-CL 1340/2 to show up,
Once you have that form, you fill out form https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF3108.pdf and attach DFAS-CL 1340/2 and DD214 and SF 3108 in a flat envelope and mail to

OCHR Philadelphia Operations Center
Attn: Civilian Benefits Center /military buy back
700 Robbins Avenue, Bldg 9
Philadelphia PA 19111-5098

3. And wait again, Philadelphia will email you at this point, once they get back to you there will be a fax number, so you can fax all the info to DFAS and they can start making the deductions from your LES, you can do as little as 25.00 per pay period.

Edited by user Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:03:10 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 2 users thanked 4thgenvet for this useful post.
guruebby on 8/21/2019(UTC), 10years2retire on 8/22/2019(UTC)
4thgenvet  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:08:11 AM(UTC)
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This link goes to an article explaining why its good to buy back military time

https://www.fedsmith.com...e-increase-fers-pension/

someoldguy  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:42:59 AM(UTC)
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As some have noted, any federal active duty (pretty much anything you got orders for UNLESS you were doing state duty for the National Guard) will count.

The problem is, that time does not show up on your DD214. You won't get a DD214 for tours less than 90 days.

So how do you document this time when you make your claim for retirement credit? I've got over 7.5 years on my DD214/DD215 but I can get that up to a little over nine if I can get credit for all the time I spent on orders that did not show up on DD214.

PS excuse me if this was already covered in this thread but I've heard horror stories of folks who applied to buy back military time and their requests disappeared into the black hole. So keep on top of your request and follow up diligently. Be polite, but be diligent.

Edited by user Wednesday, December 6, 2017 11:45:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Added a PS

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someoldguy  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 12:31:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Guts Go to Quoted Post

So how do you document this time when you make your claim for retirement credit? I've got over 7.5 years on my DD214/DD215 but I can get that up to a little over nine if I can get credit for all the time I spent on orders that did not show up on DD214.
Go to the pay office that handled the orders for active duty, usually at the unit for which you were assigned. They will, through some diligence I am sure, certify the periods of active/pay performed.

Hmm... that's several different pay offices across many different states, and some of those places don't exist anymore. Would an LES be acceptable?

I'm not sure it would be worth the effort to document every last day of active duty but I have a number of three and four week tours and those add up pretty quickly.

Thanks
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roger.d  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:15:01 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post

Hmm... that's several different pay offices across many different states, and some of those places don't exist anymore. Would an LES be acceptable?

I'm not sure it would be worth the effort to document every last day of active duty but I have a number of three and four week tours and those add up pretty quickly.

Thanks


I am not up on all things NG/NR, but isn't that what the national pay office is going to do?

You may want to contact your County Veteran Service Officer, or the nearest VFW/American Legion for additional assistance.

https://www.nacvso.org/directory/directory_5.aspx

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navdoc1969  
#16 Posted : Friday, December 8, 2017 10:03:36 AM(UTC)
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First time poster here. I have worked for the feds for 17 years now. When I started in 2000 looked into buying my military time back but...you guessed it...procrastinated...and never did. I had 2 periods of active service (1969-1973) and (1987-1992) to buy back. Remember the first 2 years you do not pay any interest. Well my 9 years 5 months would have cost me around $2500 total, but waiting to do it this year I spent over $5500 but am glad its now paid off! It really did change my pension figures. I plan on retiring next December with a total of 28 years service. I also have approximately 350 days of 2-4 weeks ACDUTRA's I performed over the years and was wondering how one would go about submitting this? I do have every original order with accompanying pay sheet but some of the duty stations don't exist and one (USS America CV-66) is sitting on the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean!
someoldguy  
#17 Posted : Friday, December 8, 2017 4:52:02 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: navdoc1969 Go to Quoted Post
I also have approximately 350 days of 2-4 weeks ACDUTRA's I performed over the years and was wondering how one would go about submitting this? I do have every original order with accompanying pay sheet but some of the duty stations don't exist and one (USS America CV-66) is sitting on the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean!

Yeah that's my question... hopefully the combination of orders and leave and earning statements (LES) should suffice.

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roger.d  
#18 Posted : Friday, December 8, 2017 9:10:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: navdoc1969 Go to Quoted Post
I also have approximately 350 days of 2-4 weeks ACDUTRA's I performed over the years and was wondering how one would go about submitting this? I do have every original order with accompanying pay sheet but some of the duty stations don't exist and one (USS America CV-66) is sitting on the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean!

Yeah that's my question... hopefully the combination of orders and leave and earning statements (LES) should suffice.




Contact your VSO. Info is in my previous post.
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someoldguy  
#19 Posted : Saturday, December 9, 2017 3:23:52 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: roger.d Go to Quoted Post
Contact your VSO. Info is in my previous post.

Went to that site, nothing for my county. I do know a guy who said the local VFW helped with his disability claim.

Edited by user Saturday, December 9, 2017 3:24:26 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Guts  
#20 Posted : Saturday, December 9, 2017 10:42:23 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: navdoc1969 Go to Quoted Post
I also have approximately 350 days of 2-4 weeks ACDUTRA's I performed over the years and was wondering how one would go about submitting this? I do have every original order with accompanying pay sheet but some of the duty stations don't exist and one (USS America CV-66) is sitting on the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean!

Yeah that's my question... hopefully the combination of orders and leave and earning statements (LES) should suffice.



A copy of the orders, and the pay record (LES) was exactly what I used for active service/pay verification from my reserve units. Send it in as you would/did for active duty performed under a DD214.
Send to your agency HR or OPM, NOT back to the military.

Edited by user Saturday, December 9, 2017 10:43:44 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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