Here’s a compilation of Military Service Credit Deposit/ Service Computation Date/ FERS Military Buyback topics from over the years (updated 12 / 2020):
SCD Topics (jump to);
Q1: Are FERS and NG/Reserves two separate systems? Do I forfeit NG/Reserve retirement pay if I do a Military Service Credit Deposit?
A: Reserves/National Guard and FERS are two separate systems. You do not forfeit Reserve/NG benefits or pay by making a Military Service Credit deposit to FERS.
For more info see page 8 of the FERS Service Credit Deposit guide (portion of the FERS handbook ) or contact your HR Benefits Counselor:
Q3: I’m retired from National Guard/Reserves and drawing retired pay. Is my military service still creditable?
A: Your ACTIVE DUTY military service is still creditable regardless of your age. You need to make the Military Service Credit Deposit before retiring from CIVILIAN service:https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/creditable-service/#Military
Q6: Does the Creditable amount include active duty and a few yrs of ‘active reserve’ duty or just my service on Active Duty?
A: AT and IDT time spent in the reserves does not count towards SCD credit. Mobilization/ADSW are creditable.
Q13: What about specific questions regarding my Mobilizations and ADSW?:
For specifics, you will have to fish through Benefits Letter 95-101 (Regarding USERRA) to determine your SCD eligibility for Mobilizations or ADSW periods. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/1995/95-101.pdf
See page 3 and pay special attention to the definition of ‘Full Time National Guard Duty’, as well as the 4-part test at the bottom of page 3.
Medical Retirements and VA Disability
Note: Being Medically Retired from Active duty and VA Disability benefits are two different systems of compensation. In some cases these can be combined together, making it unclear whether or not you can make a Military Service Credit Deposit:
– Military retirement pay is a pension based on your years of service. Your Military Career has been cut short by an injury and you are being compensated for not being able to complete your ’20 years’ Active Duty.
– VA disability compensation is a monetary award that is based on your decreased ability to perform work after leaving the military.
Q5: I am ‘Medically Retired’ from Active Duty. Is my Active Service creditable for FERS?
A: You cannot receive credit for any military service in your FERS retirement computation, if you are receiving military retired pay, unless you were awarded the retired pay:
-Due to a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war, or
-Under the provisions of Chapter 1223, Title 10, U.S.C. (pertaining to retirement from a reserve component of the Armed Forces).
However, you can elect to waive the retired pay and have the military service added to your civilian service in computing your FERS annuity. In addition to waiving your military retired pay you MUST pay a deposit for your post 1956 military deposit prior to separating from your agency in order for it to be creditable in your FERS retirement case.
Q8: I was medically retired from Active Duty. I no longer receive a military retirement check, as all my money comes from the VA for being 90% disabled. Can I still make a Service Credit Deposit?
A: Yes, but verify this with your local DAV or VA branch office first. You typically won’t forfeit your VA disability payments or benefits for a Service Credit Deposit… The only question in your case is if the FERS Service Credit Deposit calculation works in your favor.Back to top of page
Service Academy Credit
Q7: Is Service Academy time creditable?
A: Yes. Military academy time is creditable for annual leave accrual purposes. Section 1115 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 is the applicable provision of law that makes academy service time creditable for retirement—and therefore for leave accrual purposes. The law at 5 U.S.C. 8331 and 5 U.S.C. 8401 was amended to explicitly make academy service time creditable towards retirement for both CSRS and FERS employees. Service is creditable retrospectively as well as prospectively.
Funding Sources for Military Service Credit Deposit
Q9: Can I use money from an IRA to make a Service Credit Deposit?
A: You can use money from anywhere you can find it to make a Service Credit Deposit… however, the perception that you are simply ‘moving’ money from one retirement system to another retirement system is irrelevant to the IRS. You still need to follow all the rules (and pay the taxes and early witdrawal penalties) for non-qualified distributions from IRAs, 401k’s, Roths etc.
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Retired from Active Duty SCD topics
Q10: I am Retired from Active Duty, currently drawing retirement pay. Can I make a FERS Military Service Credit Deposit?
A: Yes, but the math must work in your favor. If you are retired from Active Duty for non-medical reasons and are drawing Active Duty Retirement Pay you will have to forfeit your Active Duty retirement pay for FERS Annuity pay at your FERS retirement date if you choose do do a FERS Military Service Credit Deposit. Note that there are situations where the buyback math CAN work in your favor.
Q12: If i am Retired Active Duty should I do a Buyback?
A: Even if retired military (presently drawing pay), definitely look at buying back your military time. You will lose your military pension once you retire from federal civilian service, but if you are making a high “top three average” as a civilian and had a lower military grade when you retired, the math can work out to your benefit.
Note: You do NOT lose you military retirement when you make the Service Credit Deposit… You forfeit/swap your military retirement pay when you sign a waiver of military retirement just before you start collecting your FERS retirement.
Service Credit Deposit ‘Cats and Dogs’
Q11: Will you Audit/perform my Military Service Credit Depoist package?
A: No. I offered this service a few years ago but most of the applications I received were very complex (multiple active duty service periods, multiple FERS employment periods, long time frames of buyback interest penalties etc). And most of the answers you need are in the Gubmints SCD Gougebook on Amazon.
Q4: How long does it take NPC to process my SF 813?
A: Varies on NPC’s admin workload; mine took about 6 weeks.