Military buyback and reservists


Q. You answered a question March 1 about military buyback from a person who had 21 years of active-duty retirement. You said, “If you make a deposit for your active-duty service, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay when you retire from your civilian job.” Does that apply to reservists?

I am a retired reservist who had planned to buy back 10 years of active duty in 2013-14. I began drawing retired pay last year when I turned 60. As a reservist drawing retirement, will I also have to waive my retired pay when I retire from civilian service if I buy back my active duty time?

A. Because you’ll be receiving reserve retired pay, if you make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, you won’t have to waive that pay when you retire. Only employees entitled to or receiving military retired pay based on their active-duty service are required to 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


  1. I would like to inquire if you can buy back your active military time if you are retired from the reserves. Thanks

    • If you are currently employed by the federal government, you can make a deposit to get credit for your active duty service.

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