Military reserve retired pay and federal employee retired pay


Q. I am a retired Marine. My wife was in the Marines 7½ years. When she got out of the Marines, she still had six months of obligated service on her contract and had to ask Headquarters Marine Corps for a conditional release so she could go into the Army National Guard. She eventually got hired by the federal prison system. We bought back her 7½ years of service in the Marine Corps and had it transferred to the federal prison system. We were told when she completes 20 actual years of service with the prison, she will get paid for 27½ years for pay purposes since we bought back 7½ years.

In August, she retired from the Army National Guard with about 20 years and eight months of service and received her retirement letter. At age 50, she will be eligible to retire from the federal prison system. Will she get that 27½ pension from the prison? Will she also get her full reserve pension from the Army National Guard later on, and do those 7½ years in the Marines still count as part of her Army National Guard pension even though I paid to have those years transferred to the federal prison system retirement? Please explain it to me in plant life form so I can break it down to my wife.

A. Your wife will be able to receive her reserve retired pay and her federal prison system annuity with no reduction in either. Semper fi!


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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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