Military buyback


Q. I am working as a civil servant after retiring from the military. If I buy back my military time (21 years), will I be eligible for the FERS Social Security supplement at my minimum retirement age of 56? I would have a total combined service of 35 years?

A. Yes. However, your special retirement supplement would be based solely on your years of FERS employment. Active-duty service for which you’ve made a deposit, wouldn’t be included in that calculation.


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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. Can you clarify this. If I have 30 years of credible FERS service that includes 10 years of military time I bought back and I am at my MRA at 57 and full eligible to retire – I will will also be fully eligible for the FERS Social Security supplement that will be calculated based on 20-years of FERS service and not 30-years?

    • You are correct. By law only actual FERS service is used when determining the amount of the special retirement supplement.

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