Military Buyback Program


Q. I hope you can help me with calculating what my retirement check will be if I do the military buyback program. I served seven years on active duty and 22 years in the reserves. My reserve retirement paycheck will be approximately $1,700 that I will start collecting at age 60. I would like to know the  approximate monthly amount of my civil service retirement check  if I bought back my military time. I realize I can only collect one or the other, not both. I want to see if it’s worth it to continue with the military buyback program. I want to compare the two retirement checks. I am under Federal Employee Retirement System. I have been referred to so many numbers and offices the last few weeks and I still have not been able to get an answer to my question.

 A. First, let me correct a misunderstanding on your part. If you make a deposit to get credit for your active duty service, it won’t have any effect on you entitlement to reserve retired pay. Simply stated, you can get both.

By making a deposit for seven years of active-duty service, your annuity will be increased by 7 percent, 1 percent for each year, unless you retire at age 62 with at least 20 years of total service. In that case, your annuity would be increased by 7.7 percent, 1.1 percent for each year.


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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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