Military deposits


Q. I am looking to accept a position in the GS system. I was retired as a direct result of armed conflict with 21 years active duty. Will all of those years count toward my FERS retirement? Do I have to buy any back? I just want to know how long I would have to work before I could retire again and receive the FERS retirement. I am 46 now.

A. You would only be able to get credit for that period of active duty service without having to waive your retired pay if you were awarded it on account of a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the U.S. or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred during a period of war. If you meet that definition, you wouldn’t have to waive your military retired pay; however, you would have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system get credit for that time in your annuity computation

To meet the eligibility requirements to retire on an immediate unreduced annuity, you would have to have at least 5 years of actual FERS service and meet the minimum age requirement: 62 with 5, 60 with 20, or at your MRA with 30. Your MRA is 57.


About Author

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


  1. I want to be sure I have enough credible service. Can you tell me if I am 55 years old born in 1964, I have 33 years of service 23 is actual civilian service and 10 is military time with the air force, which I bought back in 1997. My SCD leave date says 1/23/87. Can I retire on my birthday next year in February. I will be 56.

  2. However, your SRS or special retirement supplement which you will draw until age 62 will be reduced. I had exact same years of BOTH as you have and ONLY ur 23 years will be used to calculate the SRS. I think mine was $615 versus the civilian girl who had worked her entire 33 yrs and hers was around $1100. Human Resources FAILED to tell me this & once I figured it out from OPM at the final computation, my HR had disconnected me so I was NOT able to call and ask why she failed to inform me of this $500 mistake. Anyway, I should have read more; but, I was very ill and although I retired on regular FERS, I did start drawing SSDI a year later. Good Luck

    • It’s unfortunate that your personnel office didn’t tell you that the SRS would be based solely on your actual FERS service. That’s the law and it should have been shared with you.

  3. Reg: I Recently received a Medical retirement from the U.S. Army for injuries incurred by an Instrumentality of War during an armed conflict, and I have a GS job. I was told that because of my Medical disability and the reason I received it that I would qualify for 8 hours of Leave per pay period as opposed to 4 or 6. Is this correct? I cannot find this in the OPM guide book of regulations?

    • Here is what OPM has to say about that:
      Uniformed Service
      • For non-retired members of a uniformed service, full credit for active military service performed under honorable conditions is given for annual leave accrual purposes.
      • For retired members of a uniformed service, annual leave accrual credit is given only for…
      o All active duty when retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101 and 1101. “Period of war” includes World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, or the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.

  4. Reg: Thank you much for your response, I understand that there is nothing in writing which supports the 8 hours verse 6, it all depends on Campaigns served? Again thank you for your time.

  5. Reg: sorry should have brought this up before, I am the recipient of a Soldiers medal which was awarded for actions in IRAQ. 1) am I eligible for the 10% increase on my retirement ( even though I am at 75%), or do I need to submit some sort of rebuttal to the Army. Please help. Bly

    • Receiving a medal of any sort would have no affect on the amount of your annuity. Annuities are based solely on a formula that includes actual civilian service and active duty service for which a deposit has been made.

    • If an enlisted member is awarded the Soldier’s Medal, and the heroism involved is equal to a combat situation in which the soldier would receive the Distinguished Service Cross, that member would also be eligible to have 10% added to their retirement pay if they are eligible for retirement pay. But that is military retirement, and Reg answers questions about civilian retirement (CSRS and FERS).

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