Military service and federal retirement


Q. I retired in 1988 after 11 years of active service in the Air Force.

Am I eligible for benefits; and for some form of retirement pay when I reach 62? I was thinking of getting a federal job to complete the active service to 20 years.

A. Because this is a site for federal civilian employees and retirees, I don’t know if you are entitled to any military benefits. You’ll have to take that up with your former branch of service.

If you did come to work for the government, you wouldn’t get credit for your active-duty service unless you made a deposit to the civilian retirement system. If you did, those years would added to your actual civilian service and you could retire with any of the following age and service combinations: 62 with five, 60 with 20, at your minimum retirement age with 30 or at your MRA with between 10 and 29. In the last case, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62.


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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