Combined civilian and military years of service


Q: I was born in 1953 and have 20 years military service and 10 years of civilian service. Can I combine these and retire at age 55? If so, how much would it cost to buy in?

A: To find out what it would cost you to make a deposit for your active duty service, you’d need tocomplete Form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service and mail it, along with a copy of your DD-214, to the finance office for your branch of service. When it comes back, you need to take it, a copy of your DD-214, and copy of Standard Form 3108 to your local payroll office. (The RI and Standard Forms are available at, click on Find Form(s)). Your payroll office will compute the amount you owe, including accrued interest, and work out a payment plan, if you decide to do that. If you are receiving military retired pay, you’d also have to waive that pay when you retire. By the way, you can’t retire at age 55. Your minimum retirement age is 56.


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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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