Military buyback


Q. I retired as a reservist and am drawing a monthly retirement check from the Army. I am also planning to retire as a FERS employee. I have been told by one personnel specialist that I can buy back my military time (active duty 11 years as a reserve officer) and add it to my civil service time to increase the number of years in civil service. This personnel specialist said that since I retired as a reservist, all my time serving on active duty reverts to reserve time, and I can buy back the 11 years and it will not affect my military retirement pay.

A second personnel specialist at a different organization said that since my active time was used to compute my military retirement, it can’t be used again. No one will cite sources. Having read your columns and blogs, I was under the impression that I could buy back my military time and not have it affect my retirement pay. I have looked through Chapter 1223 of Title 10 and am still confused. What is the right answer, and what is the source I can refer to?

A. Your first personnel specialist was right; the second one was wrong. Making a deposit won’t have any effect on your entitlement to reserve retired pay. Go to and scroll to Section 22A3.1-3.


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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