Buying back military time


Q: I am thinking about buying back my 20 years of active-duty time to make a deposit. I am a 100-percent combat-disabled vet. I read in the FERS handbook under Creditable Military Service that under certain conditions someone receiving retired military pay may receive that pay and full civilian annuity, but only if a deposit is made to the civilian retirement system for that period of active-duty service. To be eligible, the employee who is receiving retired military pay must have been awarded it (a) on account of service-connected disability incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States or (b) on account of a service-connected disability caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war. Does this apply to me?

A: Only your branch of service can confirm that your disability fits the definition you cited. Once you have that proof, take it to your personnel office, which can make it a part of your official personnel record. Then if you decide to make a deposit, you can do that.


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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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