Military retired pay


Q. I’m a retired military officer (O-5) and now a civilian working in the Defense Department. Years ago, if you were above an O-4 and came back to civil service, they reduced your retired pay. DoD stopped that, but I’ve heard other agencies in the federal government may still do that. If that’s, true which agencies? I ask because I am interested in a job in Department of Indian Affairs, but I don’t want to lose 50 percent of my military retired pay.

A. I’ve never heard of such a practice. As provided by law, a retired member of the military can both receive military retired pay and a civilian annuity based solely on that period of employment. However, if an employee wants to get credit for that active-duty service in determining his years of service and have it used in his annuity computation, he must make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and, at retirement, waive that military retired pay. Note: Employees receiving reserve retired pay only need to make a deposit to get credit for their period(s) of active-duty service; they don’t need to waive their reserve retired pay.


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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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