Military retirement and civilian options


Q. I am an Air National Guardsman with more than 30 years of service and a dual-status federal technician. I have bought back my military time, so with everything, I have almost 29 years’ federal civil service. I am 52, so I’m about four years away from my minimum retirement age. Due to some health issues, I’ve very recently been put in a “not eligible for worldwide service” category and will have to go to a medical evaluation board. If militarily retired, I know I will lose my technician position. How will these scenarios affect my retirements?

A. To see what your civilian options are, go to and scroll to either Part46A (CSRS) or 46B (FERS). Because this is a site for civilian employees of the federal government, I’m unable to tell you what your options would be for military retirement. You’ll have to check with the personnel office in your branch of 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



    Q. I am a FERS employee and had 9 years of active-duty military time and 11 years of reserve before becoming a federal employee. I bought this active-duty time back. Now I have 16 years as a federal employee and the 9 years of military time. My understanding is that under FERS, the military time is creditable service up front — i.e., I have 25 years of creditable service for retirement purposes. Is this correct? At 60 I’m receiving military retirement. Do I need to wave my military retirement in order to receive FERS retirement or have two separate retirements.

    • Yes, you have 25 years of creditable service for retirement purposes. If you will be receiving reserve retired pay, you won’t have to waive it. If you will be receiving military retired pay, you would.

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