Military retirement


Q. I am presently active-duty Army. I enlisted in 1981. I had a break in service. I worked in the Postal Service for 10 years. I have a total of 19 active-duty years. How does that work as far as retiring from the Army? Can I retire from the Army now? If I do 20 years on active duty and retire from the Army, can I get credit for 30 years federal retirement time?

A. Because this is a site for federal civilian employees and retirees, only the Army can answer your question about when you can retire from active duty. If you spent 10 years as a civilian employee and left your retirement contributions in the retirement fund, you could apply for a deferred retirement at age 62. If you returned to work for the government and made a deposit to the retirement fund for your active-duty service, your civilian and military service could be combined. However, if you were eligible for or receiving military retired pay, you’d have to waive that pay when you retired from your civilian job.


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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