Active-duty buyback and reserve retirement


Q: I am trying to determine if it’s worth buying back my military time. I retired from the Army in October 2009 with about 14 years active-duty and 17 years reserve service, including two mobilizations for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I also receive a Veterans Affairs Department disability check after my last deployment. I should begin receiving my military retired pay in April 2016 based on the “90 days for 90 days” rule for being mobilized after 2008. I work for the Veterans Health Administration.  I was hired in November 2010, and I have no other federal service. What benefit would it be for me to buy back my military retirement?

A: If you made a deposit for you period(s) of active-duty service, that time would be included in determining your length of service and in your annuity computation when you retire. Making a deposit wouldn’t affect your eligibility to receive your 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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