Military buyback and creditable service


Q. To be succinct:

04/121978 enlisted in reserves

07/28/2004 started federal employment

11/4/2004 mobilized

9/28/2007 demobilized and returned to my federal employment

12/1/2007 retired from reserves

7/28/2019 will retire from federal service at 65 years of age

Will my FERS retirement be 15 years + 3 years for a total of 18 years creditable service, or 15 years because I was mobilized while a federal employee. I am buying back 3 years of active duty.

Is there a calculator available that I can plug in the above data?

A. When you complete your deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, you’ll get full credit for it in determining your total years of service and in your annuity computation. Now, if you have a pencil and paper, you can calculate what your annuity would be when you meet the age and service requirements to retire. Here’s the basic formula:

0.01 x your highest three consecutive years of average salary x your years and full months of service

If you have at least 20 years of service and retire at age 62 or later, the multiplier is increased to 0.011.

The only plug numbers you’ll need to supply are your anticipated high-3 and length of service.


About Author

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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