Military retirement pay


Q: Mr. Jones included something in his column appearing in the June 6 issue that has alarmed me and I’d like some clarification. Mr. Jones implies that military retired pay is somehow affected by the initiation of a federal civilian retirement annuity, except under “limited circumstances.” I am a federal employee and have been since 2007. After buying back my military academy time, I have retirement credit as of 2003. I am drawing military retired pay that I earned for service between 1983 and 2004. I plan to retire from federal civilian service in 2028. Under current rules, wouldn’t I be entitled to a FERS annuity for the 25 years of federal service from 2003 to 2028 with no affect on my military retirement pay? I have no intention of buying back any of the military service that counts for my military retirement.

A: Yes, you may receive both your military retired pay and your civilian annuity, each based on its own period of service and computed under its own rules. It’s only if you want to combine the two that you would have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and, in most cases, waive your military 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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