Military buyback and retirement effect


Q. I’ve been working for the Department of Veterans Affairs since February 1991 at GS 11. Before that, I was in the military from October 1981 to February 1988. I haven’t bought back my military time yet, but I am considering it. At what age would I be eligible for retirement with military time included versus without, and what would be the difference in earnings and benefits?

A. Here are the age and service requirements to retire. You can pick the one that best fits you: 62 with 5 years of service; 60 with 20 years of service; at your MRA with 30; at your MRA with at least 10 but fewer than 30.

In the last case, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62 unless you postponed the receipt of your annuity to reduce or eliminate the age penalty.

Note: MRAs range between 55 and 57 depending on your year of birth.


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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