Can I buyback time spent as a DoDDS (now DODEA) teacher for my FERS retirement?

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I was a DoDDS teacher in the US from 1979-85 and have been a GS employee since 1987 – am I eligible to buy back those six years toward my FERS retirement?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on July 31, 2018 4:27 pm
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Unfortunately, you have not provided sufficient information to provide you with a definitive answer. The following is an excerpt from the CSRS FERS Handbook. Since your time was 1979-1985, (prior to FERS) the following statement applies:
Chapter 10: Exclusions by Law (5 U.S.C. 8331(1))
The following are excluded from CSRS coverage by law: the employment of a teacher in dependents’ schools of the Department of Defense in overseas areas in the recess period between two school years in a position other than the teaching position in which he or she served immediately before the recess period.

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Answered on July 31, 2018 7:06 pm

Elaine, I was a full time teacher for dodds at ft campbell, KY from ’79-85, resigning to move to Germany with my military spouse. While in Germany I joined the GS ranks as a FERS employee and continued as such after our return to CONUS. The question nobody in my agency can definitively answer is whether my dodds time might be eligible for buyback. What other information would help you?

( at August 1, 2018 5:45 pm)
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Private answer

Your response shows me your service was not “excluded by law” and that means it should be available for making a deposit. I strongly suggest you complete the SF-3108, https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf3108.pdf, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, and submit to your agency. They will be required to track down your previous service and mail to OPM. OPM will then go to their records and send you an estimate of deposit…you will have a certain timeframe to make the deposit without further interest. If the deposit is not complete with the timeline, interest will continue to accrue on the unpaid balance until you either complete the deposit or retire.
Good luck!

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Answered on August 1, 2018 8:39 pm

Thank you so much for answering the question of eligibility. We submitted an SF-3108 and quickly learned that my ePF has no record of my dodds time. My agency made a request to NARA as did I. My motivation for asking this question was to determine if the effort to find the records was worth the time and energy. Thanks to your answer as well as advice for Dodds HR, we will pursue this vigorously. Thanks again.

( at August 1, 2018 8:53 pm)