Military retirement and buyback


Q. I am on active duty (Army). I will be retiring with 20 years of active service and receive my monthly retirement pay. If I take a government job, how does the buyback thing work? If I choose the buyback option, will my military retirement check stop? Could I buy back the 20 years of military service (without giving up my military retirement pay), work the government for 10 years, then retire and receive both my military and government retirement?

A. You could make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service; however, when you retired, you would have to waive your military retired pay. Alternatively, you could decide not to make the deposit, continue to receive your military retired pay, and when you meet the age and service requirements, retire from the government and receive an annuity based solely on your civilian service.


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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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