Military/FERS retirement


Q. Should I be worried, when I retire from FERS in seven years, that I will not receive a retirement check from the military and a FERS civil service retirement check? I returned to civil service after retiring from the Air Force after 20 years. I receive a monthly annuity in addition a monthly VA disability check. I received my FERS benefit estimate report for buying back my recent active-duty time. The estimate clearly favors that I buy my time back. All references lead me to believe I will be able to collect my full military retirement annuity, VA disability check and FERS annuity without combining or penalty.

A. If you don’t make a deposit to the civilian retirement fund, you’ll continue to receive your military retired pay, your VA disability check and an annuity based solely on your FERS service. If you made a deposit for your active-duty service, you’d get credit for it in determining your length of civilian service and in your annuity computation; however, at retirement, you’d be required to waive your military retired pay. If you did that, it would have no effect on your VA disability check.


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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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