Military retired pay, FERS, VA disability


Q. I retired from the military with a 40-percent VA disability. I am now a government employee under FERS. If I buy back my military time and then retire under FERS, will I still receive my VA disability payments and, if so, will the VA payments be deducted from my FERS retirement in the same way as they are deducted from my military retirement today?

A. While you would have to waive your military retired pay when you retire from your civilian position, you wouldn’t have to waive your VA disability payments. They would have no affect on your FERS annuity.


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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. I too fall into this category, with the 40% disability and military retirement deduction. Is is beneficial to just cash in military time. Its got to be more than what I’m getting from my military retirement. I’m a government employee with 9 years and 21 years active duty.

    • You are asking for an opinion which we cannot give. You’ll have to consult a financial adviser, one who doesn’t have a stake in you decision.

  2. I recently (2 months ago) retired from the VA. I paid for a “military buyback” of 14 years. I spent slightly over 6 years in the VA (FERS) system. I completed my “out processing” for retirement and they set me up for an annuity (small but there) and told me my MHP insurance would be continued into retirement. Yesterday I got a letter from OPM saying I only had insurance continuity since JAN 1 2014. thus I didn’t meet the requirement for 5 yrs continuity. I was shocked that they declined my coverage. I have one question: Does my 14 years active military insurance weigh in on this. I thought I’d give this a shot out there.

  3. I have a 60% disability compensation rating and have almost 4 years of military service. I am now a FERS employee and considering buying back my military time. I was told by someone that if I did so, my VA disability would be affected when I start receiving a FERS annuity. Based on your comments above, I would like to confirm that this would not be true in my case. Thanks for any insight you can provide.

  4. Hello, I was rated 90% and 100% p&t unemployable in December 2017. Are my chances good that I will receive Opm retirement based on my unemployable rating? I have a total of 27 yrs total federal service. I have been off work two years.

    • What do you mean when you say that you’ve “been off work”? Have you been on annual leave, sick leave, leave without pay?

  5. Hello Sir,

    I am medically retired and receive VA Disability check. I am currently 80% (50% combat related). I have 14 years TIS. If i do a buy back and retire will my VA disability be affected?

    • First, are you medically retired from the armed services? If so, are you receiving military retire pay? Second, what does TIS mean?

  6. Good afternoon, I am drawing military retired pay for 21 years and 90% VA disability. I started under FERS last year. Will I be able to draw Military Retired Pay, VA Disability, FERS Retirement and Social Security benefits when I retire at age 62 in 17 years?

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