Military buyback and FERS


Q. I was hired into civil service (FERS) in January 2005, and elected at that time to purchase back 10 years of active-duty military service. I’m still in the Active Reserve with 17 years of service (about 13 active), and was wondering:
1. When I decide to retire from the military, will my military retirement be at all affected by my election to buy it back in civil service?
2. If so, how?
I think my military pension will be better at retirement than that of my civil service pension, because I expect my military paygrade to be higher, and thus worth more. For example 50 percent of my military base pay versus only say 25 percent of my civil service base pay. Your expertise in this area would be greatly appreciated.

A. Having made a deposit for your active-duty service in the military, you’ll get credit for it in determining your eligibility to retire and in your annuity computation. Your reserve retired pay won’t be affected by that. You’ll be able to receive both, with no reduction in either.


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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

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