Expert's View

If you ever worked for the federal government in a job that didn’t let you participate in the retirement system, you’ll be interested in a bill introduced by Reps. Dan Kilmer, D-Wash. and Walter Jones, R-NC. The bill, HR-5389 would allow you to retroactively deposit the retirement deductions that would have been taken from your pay and get creditable service for that time. Not only would that boost your annuity when you retire but that increased service time would allow you to retire earlier.

If you chose to “buy back” that time, you’d have to pay not only the 1.3 percent of your base salary, plus interest, but also the contributions the government would have made if you hadn’t been employed on a temporary or intermittent basis.


That deposit requirement would be a deal breaker were it not for the fact that you would not only be able to retire earlier but your annuity would be increased by those additional months and years of service.

According to Kilmer, “Folks who work hard for our country deserve a government that has their back. “This bill lets people retire securely and on time. Workers shouldn’t have to put their physical health at risk because some government red tape says they should work longer than their peers.” Jones said it would “right an injustice.”

While this bill has the support of employee centered organizations, such as the Federal Managers Association and the National Active and Retired federal Employees Association, it has yet to be introduced in the Senate. Whether it will be remains to be seen. If you support the bill, you may want to let your members of Congress know.