Military buyback


Q. I am about to retire from the Bureau of Prisons under FERS within the next two months. I am also a military drilling reservist with six years of active duty and about 30 years of reserve time. I will retire from the reserve in two years. If I buy back the active time to receive FERS credit, will I still be able to retire from reserve using the points accumulated from the six years of active duty for military retired pay. Do I have to waive this time to get the military service credit computation in FERS? What are my options?

I have been told that I do not have to waive this pay for reserve retirement. Others tell me that I by waiving the six years of active time, I lose these points toward my reserve retirement.

Active-duty periods:  U.S. Navy — June 16, 1972, to June 7, 1976, and June 16, 2008, to Aug. 21, 2010.

A. No, you don’t have to waive that time. If you make a deposit to get credit for your years of active-duty service, it will have no effect on your reserve retired pay. All you are doing is paying to get civilian credit for those periods of active-duty military service. Anyone who tells you that you will lose points toward your reserve retirement, or anything else that doesn’t square with what I just told you, is wrong.


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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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