Military buyback


 Q. I separated from the Army in 1997 after nine years of active service and three years of National Guard service. I separated under the provisions of the Special Separation Benefit. My separation benefit was $38,000. I have recently received a job offer as a GS-12 employee. I’m 46 years old and wish to understand if buying back my military time would prove beneficial. Thank you.

 A. If you become a federal employee and make a deposit for your nine years of active-duty service, you’ll be given credit for that time in determining your length of service and in your annuity calculation. As a rule, you’d receive an additional 1 percent in your annuity for each year of active-duty service. Further, you’d be given a higher annual leave accrual rate. Finally, if you made the deposit within two years, no interest would be charged.


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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