Military and FERS retirement and buyback


Q. Having retired in 1995 with 20 years of active-duty service in the Air Force with a 40 percent VA work-connected disability, I’m a FERS employee as of April 2000, and I intend to retire in January 2018. I’m considering buying back my military time; once my deposit has been paid in full, and I retire from FERS with a combined 37 years of creditable service, will I keep my monthly VA amount? Lastly, while I’d be forgoing my AF pension, will other privileges remain intact?

A. You won’t lose your VA benefits if you make a deposit for your active-duty service and waive your military retired pay. While it’s my understanding that waiving your military retired pay won’t affect your other privileges, you’ll have to confirm that with your branch of service.


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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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