Buying back military time


Q: I retired from the Air Force after serving 20 years. I have been working for the federal government for 10 months and I am under the FERS system. If I buy back my military time, do I lose my military retirement pay immediately or when I retire again from the federal government?

A: If you make a deposit for your period of active-duty service, you don’t have to waive your military retired pay at the same time. You can wait until shortly before your retire from your civilian job to do that.


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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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