Q. I’d like to know if buying your military time back if you’re a disabled vet is the same process ? I’m told that if I’m not going to receive Social Security I still get credit and don’t have to buy it back.

A. Because you were first hired as a civilian before Oct. 1, 1982, you will get credit for that period of active-duty service in determining your eligibility to retire and in your annuity computation, whether or not you make a deposit to the civilian retirement fund. However, if you retire and are eligible for a Social Security at age 62, those years of service will be eliminated and your annuity recomputed downward. If you retire at age 62 or later and are eligible for a Social Security benefit, the reduction will be made on the day your retire. The decision about whether to make a deposit is one you’ll have to make.
The fact that you are a disabled vet would only make a difference if you were awarded retired pay because of a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty. If that were the case, you’d only have to make a deposit for that time.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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