Military buyback


Q. I am retired military with 24 total years of service (seven years active duty and 17 in the Air National Guard). I work in the civil service corps of the federal government, 21 years. In three years at age 60, I will start receiving my military retirement checks. If I buy back my seven years of active-duty time, will that void my military retirement pay and benefits? If I decide to buy back only four years, retaining 20 years of military service, will I lose any retirement benefits?

A. If you make a deposit for your active duty-service, it won’t have any effect on your military benefits. However, you’ll have to make a deposit for all of your active-duty service, unless it occurred at separate times during your career — for example, two years followed by a break and then five years. In that case, you could make a deposit for either period or both.


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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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