Military hiree


Q. I’m new to the federal system and would like to asses my options.

1. I have spent 14 years and about 10 months on active duty in the Armhy plus some reserve time. I understand reserve time is not computed on military buyback. What is the maximum years that I can sell back?

2. I was hired by ICE at the age of 38. How does that factor in for retirement purposes — mandatory retirement age for an ICE covered agent?

3. If I sell my military time, do my leave and sick hours change to match those of service dates of one with close to 15 years of federal service?

4. How do I access such information? I have asked around and no one knows. The only thing I found is a FERS pamphlet PDF dated 1986 about the percentages for retirement.

A. 1. There is no limit on the number of years of active duty service for which you can make a deposit.

2. As a rule, if you are hired into a covered position, you’d be allowed to continue working until you completed 20 years of service, and then be mandatorily retired.

3. As a nonretired member of the armed forces, you’ll get full credit for your active-duty service in determining your annual leave accrual rate. The sick leave accrual rate for all employees is the same —  four hours per biweekly pay period.

4. Information about all aspects of civilian employment and its interaction with active-duty service will be found at You’ll just have to dig around to find what you need.


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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