Active-duty military service and federal retirement


Q. I served 15 years active duty in the Navy, then was honorably discharged with VocRehab due to injury. I am rated at 70 percent disability and receive a check from the VA each month. I was recently offered a job with the VA hospital. Can I apply my years of active-duty service to a federal retirement with the VA? What are my best options for retirement planning?

A. Yes you can get credit for your active-duty military service, but only if you make a deposit to the civilian retirement system. That deposit would be 3 percent of your basic military pay, plus interest, if you don’t complete the deposit within two years. Just remember that you have to have five years of actual civilian service to be vested in the system and be eligible for an annuity.


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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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