Military buyback timing


Q. Can a FERS employee with active-duty time, then Army Reserve time, then sanctioned as a USAR to retire and receive a retirement check, immediately buy back his active-duty time to count toward his civilian time?

A. An employee can always make a deposit to get credit for any periods of active-duty service. If that employee receives reserve retired pay, he can receive that and his civilian retired pay without a reduction in either. If he receives military retired pay, in most cases he’ll have to waive that pay to get civilian credit for his active duty 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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