DoD firefighter retirement


Q. I am a DoD firefighter for the Department of the Army for three years now. Before my current employment I was an Air Force military firefighter for eight years. I am in the process of buying back my military time and I entered the federal system at the age of 30. What age can I retire? I have been told that the eight years can be added to the “front end” of my retirement, which would mean I could retire at the age of 47 (25 years any age). Now the other scenario is age 50 and 20 years of service at which time I could add the eight years on the “back end” of my retirement of a total of 28 years of service.

A. The active-duty service for which you are making a deposit won’t count when determining your eligibility to retire under the special retirement provisions for firefighters. It won’t be added to the front end, but rather to the back end. In other words, if you are in a covered civilian firefighter position for 20 years and retire age age 50 or later, those 20 years will be computed using the enhanced formula while all additional years will be computed using the standard formula.


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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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