USPS : Vets can add military service to retirement

Military veterans employed by the Postal Service, or any other federal agency, may be eligible to have their time in the military credited toward their civilian retirement through the Military Buy Back program.

Veterans who served on active duty and received an honorable discharge are permitted to request a “buy back” of their time in service. Doing so not only adds time to an employee’s years of civilian service with the government, but also increases their retirement annuity.

To have their military service count toward their Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) annuity, employees must make a military service credit deposit to buy into the annuity.

CSRS employees who were hired before Oct. 1, 1982, and will become eligible for Social Security at age 62 or at retirement will see their annuity reduced by 2 percent for every year served in the military unless a deposit is made. CSRS employees hired after Sept. 30, 1982, must make a deposit to receive credit for their military service in their retirement computation date and annuity.

To begin the process, former service members must contact the USPS Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) to request a military buyback kit. The kit contains directions on requesting military records, including an estimation of earnings during military service and a copy of the employee’s DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

After HRSSC receives the required information, the center provides a balance amount to the employee along with options for payment. Employees may elect to pay the deposit through payroll deductions, installment payments or a lump sum.

The military service deposit must be paid in full prior to a veteran’s retirement date. Although employees must pay the deposit before their civilian retirement date, the remaining amount begins to accrue interest charges after the first three years of employment.

Separated and non-career employees are not eligible to participate.

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