Military buyback and retirement eligibility


Q. I’m a FERS employee. I’m 50 years old with 26 years with the Veterans Affairs Department and four years in the Air Force. If I buy back my military time, will it allow me to retire earlier? What age can I retire?

A. The earliest you could retire is when you reach your minimum retirement age, which in your case is 56. At that time, you’d have 32 years of service. If you made a deposit for your active duty, you’d have 36 years of service. Making the deposit would increase your annuity by 4 percent.



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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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