Waiving retired pay


Q. I am a FERS employee and had nine years of active-duty military time and 11 years of reserve before becoming a federal employee. I bought this active-duty time back. Now I have 16 years as a federal employee and the nine years of military time. My understanding is that under FERS, the military time is creditable service up front (I have 25 years of creditable service for retirement purposes). Is this correct? At 60 years old, I’m receiving military retirement. Do I need to waive my military retirement in order to receive FERS retirement or have two separate retirements?

A. Yes, you have 25 years of creditable service for retirement purposes. If you will be receiving reserve retired pay, you won’t have to waive it. If you will be receiving military retired pay, you would have to waive it.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I also served in the USAF and Air National Guard, and a FERS employee, and in the Retired Reserves as a “Gray Area Retiree” due to receive Reserve Retirement at age 60. Many Federal employees who also served in the Reserves or Guard are confused by the distinction of the terms “Military Retirement” and “Reserve Retirement”. From the Federal Government Civil Service perspective, this is an important distinction, as you point out. Many of us that served in the Reserves think of our Reserve Retirement as Military Retirement because we earned it due to military service. However, when it comes to determining if you have to waive the “military” retirement to use the years your make a deposit for Civil Service Retirement credit, it becomes critical to understand the difference. Perhaps you could write an article explaining this for your column. It seems to be a common misunderstanding of the law.

    • Thanks for your suggestion. I’ve written a column on this subject that will be published in the April edition of the federal Times.

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