A Fed Times reader asks:

“I am a Marine with just over 11 years of active duty time and six more years as an active reservist. Does that time count toward retirement as a GS? How does that process work?”

Reg’s response:

Your active duty service and any periods of reserve service when you were called to active duty (not weekend drills) will count toward retirement if you make a deposit for that time.

To do that you’ll have to complete OPM form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service (available at opm.gov/forms) and mail it to your military finance center with a copy of your DD Form(s) 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge.

A completed form letter showing the estimated earnings will be returned to you. Take that letter, a copy of your DD Form(s) 214 and a Standard Form 3108 to your local payroll office to request an estimate of the amount you owe, including interest, and arrange with you to make the payment in a lump sum or on a schedule of regular payments, if you decide to do that.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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