National Guard service


Q. I have been employed full time with the Veterans Affairs Department since March 2010. I am also currently in the Air National Guard with 27  total years  of service. I am 51 years old and would like to buy back 15 years of my military service. I have a total of 17 years of active service with all my deployments. If I buy back 15 years, can I collect my full National Guard retirement when I turn 60 and also collect my FERS retirement? How many years will I have to work to get any type of FERS retirement? I am also a disabled veteran  and currently get a disability check.

I am a GS7 and working on my masters to get a higher GS before I retire.

I spoke to our HR office and they would not give me a definitive answer and told me to ask my Guard unit. I keep looking for any official paperwork on this but haven’t had any luck.

A. You can make a deposit for your years of active-duty service and get credit for that time in determining your total years of service and have it used in the computation of your annuity. If your active-duty time was in discrete segments, you can make a deposit for one, some or all of them. Making a deposit will have no effect on your ability to receive reserve retired pay, nor will it affect any disability payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As a FERS employee, the earliest you could retire would be at your minimum retirement age with 30 years of combined service. Since you were born between 1953 and 1964, your MRA would be 56.

About Author

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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