Military buyback


Q. I was forced to retire from the Air Force at 18 years and one month in 2007 and I began working civil service one month later. I receive full retirement benefits, but I do not receive my retirement pay because my disability is higher, so I only receive the disability pay. Can I buy my 18 years and one month back and put it toward my civil servant retirement? Will this affect my retiree benefits from the Air Force?

A. Yes, you can make a deposit to get credit for your period of active-duty service. However, at retirement, you would have to waive your military retired pay, unless your disability was service-connected and incurred in combat with an enemy of the U.S. or was the result of an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war. To the best of my knowledge, making the deposit and waiving your retired pay would have no effect on your other military benefits.


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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