Military retirement and FERS


Q. I work for the Defense Contract Audit Agency. I served in the Guard or Army Reserve or on active duty for 21 years. From 2004-2006, I served in Afghanistan, and was injured during a combat mission. As a result, I was medically retired from the Army in January 2009.

I am a Chapter 61 retiree (a medical retiree with less than 20 years of creditable active service). I am unique in that I had multiple injuries, but the Army board awards a retirement for only one disability. As a result, my VA disability pay exceeds my retired pay, and all of my retired pay is waived. I also receive Combat Related Special Compensation.

When I worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the HR personnel said that since I do not receive retired pay, all of my military service time could be counted toward my FERS. Since I came to work at DCAA, DFAS has contacted me and said it will adjust my service computation date to include only the time I was in a combat zone.

Which interpretation is correct? Since I receive no retired pay, I don’t think it’s fair that I am treated as a military retiree. Chapter 61 retirees are already punished enough because we cannot receive full retired pay and full VA disability, and my case is one of the extreme ones.

A. What you were told by the officials at DFAS was correct.


About Author

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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