Q: I’m trying to understand the military buy back system. I served in the military from November 1981 to May 1999. I finished just short of retirement but separated with an honorable discharge. I’m now a Defense Department civilian and currently buying back my military years. Right now all my years count toward federal retirement. Once I’m done buying back my military service, will I be eligible for military retirement and a retirement I.D. card? Will my years of government service be split (i.e. 20 years credit for military retirement and the others toward federal retirement)?
A: When you complete your deposit, all those years of active duty service will be added to your civilian service and used in determining your eligibility to retire from your civilian job and in your annuity computation. If you are eligible for military retirement, those years of service wouldn’t be divided up. All your years of service would be included when computing your military retired pay. Since we deal exclusively with civilian personnel matters, you’ll have to check with your branch of service to find out if you would be eligible to retire from the military.