Military Buy Back Estimator

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and Accounting Service
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DFAS Military Service Earnings/Buy Back Estimator

To help you make a decision on whether or not you would like to buy back your military service time, use the new Military Service Earnings/Buy Back Estimator tool.  This tool will project your estimated earnings and the estimated cost of buying back your military service time.

An official estimate of your earnings can take 60 business days/12 weeks. With the new online estimator, available 24/7, you can quickly receive an unofficial estimate of your military earnings and the estimated cost of buying back your military service time.

To understand how buying back your military service will impact you specifically, to include how many years of credit you would receive and if it would affect your disability, it is recommended that you speak with a HR Retirement Counselor. Since every individual's situation is unique and specific,  a HR Retirement Counselor can assist in interpreting specific regulations and potential impacts, opportunities, etc.  To better assist the HR Retirement Counselor in his/her recommendations specific to your situation, it is recommended that you take a copy of your approximate earnings and buyback amount as projected by the Estimator tool when meeting with the counselor.

The estimator’s results will give you approximate amounts to help you decide if you want to pursue buying back your military time; they are unofficial and may not be used to formally apply to buy back your time.

If you choose to pursue buying back your military time after using the estimator, you should follow the steps outlined on the Military Service Deposit web page to submit an official request.

To use the estimator, you’ll need the following details from your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214) or any of the other documents listed on the Acceptable Documents page:

 

  • Pay Entry Base Date
  • Active Service Date (Start Date)
  • Separation Grade
  • Last Promotion Date
  • Separation Date
  • Civilian Retirement Plan

List of tool assumptions and limitations - The current version of the tool assumes:

BASIC OPTION

  • You were an enlisted member OR an officer – not a combination of both.  (Warrant Officer ranks and Cadet pay are not supported at this time.)
  • Your service period was continuous with no breaks.
    • You can use the tool multiple times to enter several periods of active duty service to get a total estimate.  Simply enter one service period at a time and add together the individual results to get your estimated earnings and estimated cost to buy back your service time. When used in this way, “Active Service Date” must equal “Last Promotion Date” for each rank.
  • Only your active duty career is applicable.
  • You moved between ranks at a "standard" rate of progression (i.e. two years from O1 to O2). If you moved up in rank faster than the standard time between grades, the tool will attempt to estimate your progression between ranks based on your starting and ending ranks.
  • You did not have any disciplinary action during your period of service.
  • You are applying to buy back your military service time within three years of civilian service and therefore, no interest will be charged.
    • For federal employees with more than three years of civilian employment prior to application to buy back their military service time, there may be interest charges.

ADVANCED OPTION

  • Allows for Warrant Officer ranks.
  • Cadet pay is not supported at this time.
  • Officer with enlisted time (OE ranks) are supported at this time.
  • Allows for breaks in military service and changes in rank.
  • You are applying to buy back your military service time within three years of civilian service and therefore, no interest will be charged.
    • For federal employees with more than three years of civilian employment prior to application to buy back their military service time, there may be interest charges.

For questions:

  • General questions: Read the latest FAQ at askDFAS.  
  • For information or questions regarding estimated earnings, please contact your respective Military Finance Center  
  • For information on submitting official requests for military service earnings or buy back computations, read our Military Service Deposits page.

Page updated July 30, 2014.