Buying back military time


Q: I am a reservist with roughly 12 years of active-duty time. I am transitioning to GS and don’t understand the military buyback program. My biggest concern is regarding what happens to my Air Force retirement if I buy back my time. My plan would be to retire from the Reserve a few years down the road while still being a GS. Would I be able to have two separate retirements? I was under the impression that you can only have two federal retirements if you were previously retired from the military, then began civil service. I want to stay in the Reserve, but I don’t know what happens if I buy back my time for civil service.

A: If you make a deposit to the civilian retirement system for your years of active-duty service, you’ll get credit for that time in determining your total years of civilian service and in your annuity computation. Making that deposit will have no affect on any Reserve retired pay you are otherwise entitled to.


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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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