Military and federal retirement


Q. I am a federal employee with 21 years military service. I receive military retirement pay and a separate disability from VA. I am considering retiring in five years. If I buy my military time back now, can I keep receiving my military retirement until I retire from the federal government? Do I still receive my VA pay after federal retirement?

A. The answer to both questions is yes.


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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 am a drilling reservist of 18 years and also a federal employee of 4 years. 8 years was spent active duty. I’m thinking about doing the military buy back but I’m not sure of which way would benefit me more. I’m only 37 and wouldn’t see my reserve retirement to age 60.

    • Making a deposit to get credit for your 8 years of active duty service would increase your retirement annuity by 8 percent. The sooner you make the deposit the less the interest on that deposit would be. P.S. Making the deposit would have no affect on your entitlement to reserve retired pay.

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