Military buyback


Q. I am a 20-year retired Navy chief petty officer. My annual retirement income is approximately $15,500. I am a GS-14 with 10 years of civilian service on top of my 20 years of Navy service. Would it be beneficial for me to buy back my military time?

A. That’s something you’ll have to decide. Start by finding out the amount of the deposit you’d have to make to get credit for your active-duty service. Your agency personnel office can tell you how to do that. While you’re waiting for an answer, estimate what your civilian annuity would be — with and without a deposit — when you meet the age and service requirements to retire. (Keep in mind that if you made a deposit, those years of service would be included when determining your total years of civilian service and used in the computation of your annuity. If you didn’t make a deposit, they wouldn’t.) Compare the cost of making the deposit with what your annuity would be. Remember that if you make the deposit, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay when you retire from your civilian job.


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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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