Military retirement


Q. I am currently (and have only been) active-duty Navy and will be retiring within the next six months. I am confused about FERS. On some posts, I read that people waive military retirement. In others, I read that people receive military retirement and civilian government retirement. I want a civilian government job. What options do I have available to me?

A. Nearly everyone who has retired from active duty and takes a civilian job with the federal government has a choice to make. He can either make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that service and, at retirement, waive his military retired pay, or not make a deposit, retain his military retired pay, and, when he meets the age and service requirements, receive an annuity based solely on his civilian service. Only those who were awarded military retired pay on account of a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the U.S. or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war are not required to waive that pay. However, they would still need to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that 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

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