Military buyback


Q. I have 22 years of military service and am a civil service employee. When I retire, would it be advantageous to buy my military time back to get a better retirement?

A. It’s a matter of dollars and cents. If you make a deposit for your active-duty service and waive your military retired pay when you retire, you’ll get credit for that time in determining your years of civilian service and have it used in the computation of your civilian annuity. In most cases, it will be computed using the following formula: .01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service. Be aware that the longer you wait to make the deposit, the more interest you’ll have to 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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