Military buyback for former civil servant


Q. I am a guardsman who has been on continuous active-duty orders since June 2004. Before 2004, I was employed as a civil service technician since 1981 (I am a FERS employee). When I went on orders in 2004, I was continued in leave-without-pay status in my Civil Service technician position by my Guard unit until my five-year USERRA rule ran out in 2009, when I was forced to give up my technician position or face being placed in absent-without-leave status. Now that I am nearing the end of my active-duty orders in October (I do not have enough active-duty time for a full active-duty retirement), I would like to buy back my military time for civil service retirement purposes but I am not sure how to do that since I am no longer a civil servant.

Can I buy back my military time now that I am no longer an active civil servant, but I do have a civil servant retirement coming?

A. No.


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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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