Medical retirement from military


Q. I was medically retired from the military after about 15 years of service. I was receiving a pension from the Army until I was awarded Veterans Affairs compensation. The VA compensation was more than the Army pension, which is taxable; therefore, I receive a VA compensation that is nontaxable (80 percent). Within the past three or four years, I was awarded Combat-Related Special Compensation because the injuries were considered combat-related during my military career. I served from Sept. 21, 1981, to June 19, 1996. Does the military buyback option apply to me without giving up my military pension? In theory, I still receive a pension from the military. I just waived the military pension to receive the VA pension.

A. As a rule, you wouldn’t have to waive your VA compensation if you made a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service. Check with your personnel office to be sure.


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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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