Buying military time


Q: I have about six years active military service, which began in May 1985, and 14 years reserve service, which ended in 1995. I am a FERS employee. I began work with the government in January 2009. Can you explain what buying military time means, and whether someone in my situation should do it?

A: If you made a deposit for your six years of active-duty service, you would have six more years of creditable service for retirement and your FERS annuity when you did retire would be 6 percent higher. It’s worth noting that making a deposit for your active-duty time will have no affect on your entitlement to reserve 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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