Military buyback


Q. I’m a FERS employee who recently resigned my commission in the Navy Reserve. I have combined active duty and reserve time. After I received my Statement of Service, I submitted that and my DD 214 to Defense Finance and Accounting Services for military buyback consideration. If I buy back my military time, I’ll have 20 years combined. What happens to that military retirement if I don’t convert that time? Can I request that military retirement amount be transferred into my TSP or a private 401(k) account? If I don’t convert that military retirement balance, what happens to it?

A. First, you can only make a deposit for periods of active-duty service. Second, making a deposit to get FERS credit for active duty service does not affect entitlement to military benefits because you aren’t “converting” anything.


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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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