Retired annuity & military retired pay


Q. In a recent column you wrote:  “Fourth, if you receive military retired pay, set up another meeting with your counselor, ideally six months before you are ready to retire. You’ll want to assess the impact of military retired pay on your civilian annuity. Under limited circumstances, you may be able to receive both.  However, in most cases, you’ll have to waive military retired pay.”

I am age 53, retired military for 11 years, getting military retired pay now.  I am also a GS-13 with eight years in.  I was specifically told by CPAC when I was hired, that as long as I don’t try to buy back my active time, my GS retired annuity and my military retired pay would have NO affect on each other.  Are you saying that when I retire as a GS in 20 years, that I will get only one or the other retirement, but not both?

A. No. What I’m saying is that if you want to get credit in your civilian annuity for the time you spent in the military, you’d usually have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and waive your military retired pay. There are only limited circumstances under which you can both get credit for those years and receive both annuities. Even then, you’d have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to have those years included in the computation of your civilian annuity.



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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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