Credit for military service in FERS retirement


Q. I am a carrier with the USPS and recently paid back 14 years of active-duty military service toward my FERS retirement. I will be eligible for a Guard/reservist retirement at age 60. If I retire at age 62 from FERS and am applying the 14 years I bought back toward my annuity computation at that time, does it mean I have to waive my military retirement I will have been receiving since age 60? If so, to get two retirements I would only be using my Postal Service time for computation. Did I waste my time buying back the 14 years since I can only apply them toward one retirement? If this is true, can I still get the money back?

A. No, you didn’t waste your time. Making a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service didn’t have any affect on your entitlement to reserve retired pay. You’ll be able to get both retirements with no reduction in either of them.


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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


  1. kimberly kirkup on

    This confuses me because when I read up on FERS and buying back your military time to apply to your FERS retirement – it stated you had to waive military retirement pay – I.e. could not get both as you are saying–so I am confused – am I not getting something?

    • With rare exception, an employee who is receiving (or eligible) for military retired pay would have to make a deposit to get credit for that service and waive his military retired pay when he retires from his civilian job. If he isn’t receiving (or is eligible for) military retired pay or is receiving reserve retired pay, he only needs to make a deposit to get credit for that service.

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