Military Service Deposits
- What are Estimated Earnings?
- Am I eligible to “buy back” military service time?
- How do I buy back my military time?
- How long will it take to process my request?
- What military finance center do I send my request and associated documentation to?
What are Estimated Earnings?
Estimated Earnings is an estimate of basic pay earned during a period of military service performed after December 31, 1956.
Am I eligible to “buy back” military service time?
If you have any prior active duty military service, you may be eligible to buy back that time.
You can use the Military Service Earnings/Buy Back Estimator Tool to project your estimated earnings and the cost of buying back your military service time.
- Complete a separate Estimated Earnings During Military Service request form, RI 20-97, (PDF 310 KB - 5/11/2010) for each branch of service.
- Attach your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD 214 (or equivalent), and any available records of pay or promotions to the RI 20-97 (PDF 310 KB - 5/11/2010) and send to the appropriate military finance center. Verification of your service is required to obtain your estimated earnings. A list of documents that may be used to verify your service is on the Acceptable Documents page.
To obtain a copy of your DD214, write to or send a Request Pertaining to Military Records, Standard Form 180 (SF-180), (PDF 394 KB - 11/17/2010) to:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
Note: If you have not received notice after 30 days, contact the appropriate military finance center.
- After you receive your estimated military earnings computation from the military finance center via postal mail, please have your human resource office assist you in completing the appropriate application(s) listed below based on your personal situation:
- If you are a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employee, fill out the Application to Make Service Credit Payment, SF 3108 (PDF 490 KB - 09/28/2012).
- If you are a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employee, fill out the Application to Make Deposit or Redeposit, SF 2803 (PDF 914 KB - 09/28/2012).
- Send your estimated earnings statement, DD 214 and SF 2803 or SF 3108 to your human resources office.
- The human resources office will provide a calculated estimate of your military deposit amount due, certify your Post-56 military service credit deposit application and forward the required documents to the appropriate payroll office.
*Please note that if your human resources office shifts the responsibility for submitting the application to you, you will need to provide all necessary documentation, including your completed application and estimated earnings statement. If the application is incomplete, a notification requesting additional information will be sent directly to you via mail and there may be a delay in processing your military deposit.
- The payroll office will then calculate your conclusive military deposit amount due and inform you of the amount you owe by mail and provide instructions for making payments.
- Make your payments directly to your payroll office by check, money order or payroll deductions as directed in the military deposit payment request letter you receive. You may also use pay.gov to make payments directly to the payroll office. The deposit may be made in a single lump sum or by paying in installments. Your deposit account balance and each payment will be reflected in block 20 of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). Each payment and a year-to-date total will be reflected in the "Deductions" box of your LES.
- After you have paid your Military Deposit in full, by check, money order or pay.gov, your payroll office will send you a Paid-in-Full Letter. If your military deposit is paid-in-full by payroll deductions, you must request a Paid-in-Full Letter through your human resources office or customer service representative.
Once all applicable documents have been sent to the civilian payroll office, it takes approximately 30 business days to process your request. If you have not received notice after 30 business days, you can contact customer service:
Indianapolis Payroll Office 800-538-9043
Cleveland Payroll Office 800-729-3277
Important Reminder: Verification of your service is required to obtain your estimated earnings. Estimated earnings are required regardless if you are buying back time based on a Uniformed Services Employment And Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).