Military buyback


Q. I am a guardsman who has been on continuous active-duty orders since June 2004. I was employed as a civil service technician from 1981 to 2004 (with FERS). When I went on orders in 2004, I was continued in leave-without-pay status in my civil service technician position by my Guard unit until my five-year Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act rule ran out in 2009, when I was forced to give up my technician position or face being placed in AWOL status. Now that I am nearing the end of my active-duty orders in October (I do not have enough active-duty time for a full active-duty retirement).

Is there a way to buy back my military time now that I am no longer an active civil servant? If so, how/who do I contact?

A. No, there isn’t any way you can make a deposit for your active duty service. Only employees can do that.


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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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