Retired Air Force


Q.  I have been retired military (26 years) for two years.  I just become a civil servant last week.  What are the “limited circumstance” that you refer to below? (excerpt from a recent email exchange).  What should I do to find out if buying back my military time would be advantageous?

“… if you want to get credit in your civilian annuity for the time you spent in the military, you’d usually have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and waive your military retired pay. There are only limited circumstances under which you can both get credit for those years and receive both annuities. Even then, you’d have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to have those years included in the computation of your civilian annuity.”

A.  You can get credit for your active-duty time in determining your civilian length of service only if: 1) your military retired pay was awarded on account of a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the U.S. or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war, or 2) you are receiving reserve retired pay from a component of the armed forces. In either case, you’d need to make a deposit to have that time used in the computation of your annuity.



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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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