Separation pay and military buyback


Q. I separated from the Air Force in 2008 as a major with 13½ years of service and received a lump-sum voluntary separation payment. I’m employed as a government civilian and would like to buy back my military time. Do I have to repay the entire lump sum I was paid when I separated to do this?

A. Whether you are required to pay back some or all of your VSP is a matter between you and your branch of service. It has nothing to do with your ability to make a deposit to get credit for you active-duty service. However, when you retire from your civilian job, you’ll be required to waive your military retired pay. If you don’t, you won’t get any credit for that time and your deposit will be refunded to you.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply