Military buyback 101


Q: Can an active-duty service member roll his retirement into government service and add those years together with existing military service years? This was possible 20 years ago or so, but I was wondering whether it still is an option. I’m a 27-year veteran about to retire, and I’d rather go straight into government service and forego my retirement check from the military, if that is possible.

A: Nothing has changed. You can make a deposit to the civilian retirement system for any years of active-duty service and, if you are eligible for military retired pay, waive that pay when you retire. If you do that, you will get credit for all your years of active duty in determining your years of civilian service and in your civilian annuity computation. Note: To be eligible to retire from your civilian job, you’d need to have five years of actual employment under the civilian retirement system.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply