Disability pay will remain intact


Q: I was an Air Force reservist on orders for six months beginning in 2006. I injured myself while on active duty, and the six-month orders turned into two years before it was all said and done. I was put on the Permanently Disability Retired List (PDRL) with a 30-percent disability (non-combat related). I served 29 years in the Air Force Reserve, with a total of four years, eight months of active duty. I was hired in October 2008 as a federal employee. I am in the process of buying back those those four years and eight months of military time. I attended a Federal Employees Retirement System retirement seminar recently, and on one of the slides it said that the government would allow one to “waiver military retirement pay” for those with a “combat-related injury.” My questions are: Will I be able to continue to buy back my military time with a disability retirement check for a non-combat related injury? Is this counted as military retirement? Can I add my military time to my civilian seniority?  Do I need to cancel my payment?

A: What you were told in the retirement seminar only applies to those who have retired from active duty and are receiving military retired pay, not reservists. There isn’t any requirement that you waive your disability pay. On the other hand, to get credit for that period of active-duty service, you will have to complete what you’ve already begun — making a deposit to the civilian retirement fund.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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