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Old 30 April 2019, 00:36
pyrrhic0369 pyrrhic0369 is offline
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Fed Questions - grad school and mil buy back

About to accept a position working a DOD police gig. My intentions are to spend a few years on that side and then get in wherever is open as an 1811.

1.) A master's would be the last feather I could put in the hat. Recommendations? I'm currently leaning towards an MBA or MPA, with a lack of any other useful ideas. My undergrad is equally vanilla, business management.

2.) Does anyone have experience with the military buy back? I have thirteen years in the tank. Everyone I know, across the alphabet soup, has yet to but their time back and has no info on the process.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 30 April 2019, 09:00
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Purely anecdotal, but I have a friend who just retired as a civil servant and he had to pay a monthly fee to enable him to buy his .mil time into is CS retirement. I would think that if and when you get hired, they would be able to process all of that for you.
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Old 30 April 2019, 09:07
Steve788 Steve788 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrrhic0369 View Post

2.) Does anyone have experience with the military buy back? I have thirteen years in the tank. Everyone I know, across the alphabet soup, has yet to but their time back and has no info on the process.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I bought about fourteen active Army/active USAR years into
FERS. "Military Deposit" is the keyword that comes to mind,
though it's been more than twenty years since I paid most of
my time in. When I did it, the cost per creditable year of mil
service was scaled to military rank (eg, one year of service
credit for an E-4 cost less than for an O-4).

The big factor at the time I was doing it, was the interest on
payments. The sooner you paid into the system, the less it
cost you--and the longer you took to getting around to doing
it, the more it cost.

I don't know if that still applies. OPM has tons of stuff online,
about all aspects of the federal bureaucracy (it goes on and on
and on!).
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Old 30 April 2019, 09:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve788 View Post
OPM has tons of stuff online, about all aspects of the federal bureaucracy (it goes on and on and on!).
If OPM can't find what you're looking for, ask the Chinese.
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Old 30 April 2019, 10:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrrhic0369 View Post
About to accept a position working a DOD police gig. My intentions are to spend a few years on that side and then get in wherever is open as an 1811.

2.) Does anyone have experience with the military buy back? I have thirteen years in the tank. Everyone I know, across the alphabet soup, has yet to but their time back and has no info on the process.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Your HR should discuss this with you during on-boarding with your agency. I bought 4 years time back over a 12 month period via deductions from my pay and the final balance was reflected on my LES. There is a two year (if I remember correctly) time limit before interest will accrue if you pursue the buy-back. It is best if you start the process right when you get hired so you don't forget about it.

Here is a slide deck from OPM with some information. Ignore the CSRS stuff because you will fall under FERS.

https://www.opm.gov/retirement-servi...y-deposits.pdf

Again, your HR will be the point of contact for this. Good luck!
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Old 30 April 2019, 10:50
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Regarding buying of time: get with HR and do it ASAP if your gonna do it.

Regarding the jump from what I assume is 0083(uniform) to 1811 within DOD LE. Good luck with that. The masters degree will help but from my experience it can be rather difficult to make the jump, atleast within my previous agency.

FLETC should be a requirement. Spend those 3 months making friends in other agencies. Judging from your background, itÂ’ll be a nice three month vacation. Workout, drive fast , shooting guns and a beach 15 minutes from the barracks.
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Old 30 April 2019, 11:14
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Not sure it’ll help you but the Ohio Police and Fire (OP&F) pension fund allows you to buy back up to 5 years of your military service back. There are a couple rules. I bought my 5 years right when I started full time. You can not have the number of years you purchased added to your amount of total years servered until you’ve actually worked the amount of time you’re buying back.

It’s all based off your salary as well. So for me to buy back 5 years of Army service it cost me $40K. Sounds like a shit ton but when I hit 5 years, I was at 10 years of service. Not a bad deal. They took it out of my check over the 5 year period. I hear MOST pension funds have a cap on the number of years you can buy back.

Good luck.
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Old 30 April 2019, 11:24
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Originally Posted by 256 View Post
...I hear MOST pension funds have a cap on the number of years you can buy back.
Yep...our's was four years. When I had my figured out it would have cost me right at $48,000 for four years. It wasn't worth it to me at that point in my career.
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  #9  
Old 30 April 2019, 17:56
labman2 labman2 is offline
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As to military buyback on the federal side-Do It as soon as possible upon hiring, as the cost to buy back will continue to escalate. The fed retirement has been revised and it will continue to change, and not for the good of the employee.

As previously stated, OPM has a metric ton of info on the subject. This website has a lot of info in plain English. http://www.federalretirement.net/militarybuyback.htm

Mil service will not count towards years of "covered" service, just add to the total number of years in the calculation for the retirement annuity, and 13 years will make a substantial difference. You definitely need to consider doing this.

Is the DOD position "covered" under 6e retirement? If so, great as it allows you to transfer over that time directly to credited service for 1811 retirement purposes which is 25 years at any age or 20 years and age 50. There is a caveat for veterans with the age requirement, but I've been retired for 5 years now and don't want to give out of date advice.

Pursuing a masters is fine if that's what you want to do, but I'd immediately start putting in applications for any 1811 job that opens. Vet preference is important, and 1811 status is huge when transferring from one agency to another.

Flood USAJobs with applications. The DOD gig will get you in the door, but may or may not have any benefit for competing in the 1811 world. There is a myriad of 1811 positions, look daily and put in for every single one.

If you have any questions, PM me. I did 28 years as an 1811 and spent my fair share of time reviewing applications/resumes and sitting on interview panels. Best of luck to you.
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Old 30 April 2019, 18:39
Gray Rhyno Gray Rhyno is offline
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Combat time does not have to be purchased. There is a form to fill out that has to be certified by the appropriate office at your service department. It took a long time (I ended up hand walking it to the USMC Manpower people, then mailing it to HQs myself), but in the end I got 38 (39?) months added to my entry date. It doesn't cover pay raises, but it does cover leave accrual and retirement years.
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Old 1 May 2019, 15:40
pyrrhic0369 pyrrhic0369 is offline
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Thanks everyone
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  #12  
Old 2 May 2019, 11:06
labman2 labman2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Rhyno View Post
Combat time does not have to be purchased. There is a form to fill out that has to be certified by the appropriate office at your service department. It took a long time (I ended up hand walking it to the USMC Manpower people, then mailing it to HQs myself), but in the end I got 38 (39?) months added to my entry date. It doesn't cover pay raises, but it does cover leave accrual and retirement years.
I had lunch yesterday with a former co-worker. He was totally unaware of this option. Do you initiate the process with the former .mil poc first, or with the current .gov employer?
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Old 2 May 2019, 17:58
Gray Rhyno Gray Rhyno is offline
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My employer had a form for me to fill out. Theoretically my HR office sent it to USMC Manpower, but I ended up doing that myself then sent it via internal mail to HR. I can find out the form number if needed.
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Old 2 May 2019, 21:58
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Go to this DFAS link: https://www.dfas.mil/civilianemploye...edeposits.html

For fed buyback, it’s calculated at 3.3% or something close to that of your total taxable earnings while in the mil. Submit the form in the link to DFAS with required documentation and you get your quote back. Submit that to your HR for processing. From there you decide whether you want to pay in full, have a biweekly deduction, etc.

I did this years ago and it’s not rocket science. It’s a good deal that all prior service fed employees should do as early as possible upon starting a federal gov job.
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Old 3 May 2019, 12:30
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Only advice I'd give ref Dod uniformed to 1811 is why wait...start plugging in 1811 applications now. Unless you absolutely want that graduate degree, it isn't going to help you do the job, and will only marginally help in making you a qualified applicant. I'm saying this because the market is flooded, so my view is if you meet minimums (which it sounds like you more than do), apply for your end goal now. You might have to take the DoD thing while you wait, but make sure you're not waiting to apply.

I have 7 years until I'm eligible, the longest 7 years of my life! HA
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Old 7 May 2019, 13:34
labman2 labman2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Rhyno View Post
My employer had a form for me to fill out. Theoretically my HR office sent it to USMC Manpower, but I ended up doing that myself then sent it via internal mail to HR. I can find out the form number if needed.
Thanks, I passed this info along. He found the form after some searching, the HR contact was clueless. Very much appreciated!
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  #17  
Old 10 June 2019, 06:47
pyrrhic0369 pyrrhic0369 is offline
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Gents, all the advice is much appreciated. I had my panel interview with the agency command staff last week, via Skype. I will follow your recommendations are immediately start putting in for 1811-everything. As for school, I still have my Post 9/11 remaining and just want to complete some advanced education that I can use to teach with, after I retire from wherever.
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Old 11 June 2019, 08:51
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I left active duty SF for an 1811 position after 13 yrs (in 1997). I stayed in the ARNG and retired from the Army in 2004. I immediately bought in those 13 yrs into FERS. (Best decision I made in my entire life). The buyback is only charged on your military base pay.

I worked 20 yrs as an 1811 and retired at 53 years old with my pension based on 33 years. I recouped the money it cost me to buy in those 13 years THE FIRST 6 MONTHS.

Buying in your active time to FERS is a no lose proposition. Do it, and do it as soon as possible. If you live long enough to collect a FERS pension for any length of time, it will be money well spent.
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Old 13 June 2019, 06:51
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Originally Posted by gavin View Post
If OPM can't find what you're looking for, ask the Chinese.
Now this is funny, but true.
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Old Yesterday, 12:33
Rockville Rockville is offline
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you mean received federal law enforcement retirement benefits, which allowed you to retire at age 50 with a minimum of 20 years of service and required retirement at age 57.

useful report


Capitol Police: Retirement Benefits, Pay, Duties, and Attrition Compared to Other Federal Police Forces
https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-58
GAO-12-58: Published: Jan 24, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 2012.
USCP generally has enhanced retirement benefits, a higher minimum starting salary, and a wider variety of protective duties than other federal police forces in the DC metro area that GAO reviewed, but has similar employment requirements. Even though USCP, Park Police, Supreme Court Police, and Secret Service Uniformed Division are federal police forces, they provide enhanced retirement benefits si...
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