Military time and retirement


Q: I was retired medically from the Army with less than 20 years of service. My health improved enough for me to work at the U.S. Postal Service. I was then called back to active duty to complete my 20 years of service, serving an additional three years and eight months. I returned to the USPS in 2005. I retired from the Army with a military pension and Veterans Affairs Department disability of 50 percent. Can I still receive my military pension and VA disability and buy back only those years I returned to active duty to get credit for those years for federal retirement?

A: Because you are receiving military retired pay based on an active-duty career in the armed forces, your only option would be to make a deposit for all your periods of active duty service and, at retirement, waive your military retired pay.


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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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