Buyback and FERS


Q. I retired from the Air Force last year after 27 years and now work as an Army civilian. I plan to work 10 more years, then retire at age 67, when I will have a combination of my Air Force retirement, Federal Employees Retirement System retirement and Social Security. To what degree, if at all, would I benefit financially from using the military buy back to pay into FERS? How many years should I buy back, and how soon should I do it?

A. If you made a deposit for your active-duty military service, you would get credit for those years in determining your eligibility to retire and in your annuity computation. Because you would have at least 20 years of service and be age 60 or older, your annuity would be calculated using a more generous formula: 0.011 (instead of 0.01) x your high-3 x your total years and full months of service. In exchange for receiving credit for that active-duty service, you would have to waive your military retired pay when you retired from your civilian job.


About Author

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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