Q. I did 10 years active duty and just started a job as a GS position and applied to buy back my military time. I was thinking if I bought back the time, I’d only have to work 10 more as a civilian to get to the 20-year mark. My supervisor told me it doesn’t work that way and that buying back my military time was only to get more money in my annuity when I retire. So now I have to do 20 years as a civilian?

A. Your supervisor was mistaken. You will get full credit for that bought-back service in determining your years of service and have it included in your annuity computation when you retire.


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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. Depending on your age, you won’t necessarily be able to retire after 20 years even if you do buy back your AD time. Look at MRA and those options. If you have 20 combined at -age 60 you can retire un-reduced.

  2. Reg,

    Music to my ears. I bought back 16 months of civilian temp time and was later told it ONLY adds toward my annuity calculation. As I read the OPM site, it pretty clearly states adds to your service time in computing your length of service, ie I’ll hit my 20yrs 16 months sooner, if the MRA is met. I even forwarded my service comp dates (for leave, I know they’re different) and it didn’t change after I bought back the time. I’m about to put in my papers for a look see at the annuity value, assume it’ll also show the service length addition.

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