Military credit in federal pension


Q. I am 55 years old and have 18 years of active duty and 13 years of Army Reserve duty for a total of 31 retirement years in the Army Reserve.

I am eligible to collect my Army Reserve pension in January. This is based on the Defense Authorization Act of January 2008, which allows a 90-day reduction of age from age 60 — for every 90 days of active duty in the support of the war on terror. I have met that threshold.

I would like to go to work for the federal government with a projected start date of February 2014.

I will have already retired from the Army Reserve and have started to receive my Reserve pension.

1. Am I eligible to purchase that 18 years of active duty into a civil service pension for credit?

2. Can I still draw my Reserve retirements and still receive a civil service retirement when eligible?

3. It’s my understanding that it takes five years to get vested into the civil service pension systems. What would be the earliest age I could retire? Age 60?

Then, would I have a cumulative total of 23 years, assuming I was able to purchase this through buyback?

A. 1. Yes, you could make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service.

2. Yes, you can draw your reserve retired pay and a civil service annuity.

3. If you didn’t make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, the earliest you could retire is age 62. If you did make a deposit, you could retire at age 60.


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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