Military service and retirement pay


Q. I was hired in 1993 by the federal government under FERS. I made a military deposit for more than 10 years I served in the Army. I then joined the National Guard in 1995. I then transferred to the Army Reserve in 2000. In 2002, I was mobilized for 12 months (title 10) for Operation Noble Eagle. I returned to work. Then, in November 2004, I was mobilized again (title 10) for more than four years, I returned to work and made a deposit on that time. Then, in September 2009, I was mobilized again (title 10), and then I made the Army Reserve Sanctuary Program. I am to retire from this active duty in the next couple of months, and I am going to return to work.

I have been getting conflicting information; I am being told that I am still considered a reservist and that I am going to be able to collect my retirement now instead of at 60 years old. This is true; however, how is this going to affect my FERS retirement? Am I going to have to request a refund of all of my deposit, or will some of my active time or mobilized Reserve time still count toward my civilian retirement? My retirement order has my component as USAR.

A. While I can’t give definitive answers about individual cases, I can give you information that will help you determine where you stand.

First, you can receive credit for any periods of active-duty service by making a deposit to the civilian retirement system. That credit will be used in determining your length of service and in your annuity computation.

Second, if you make a deposit and are eligible for reserve retired pay, you’ll be able to receive that pay and your civilian annuity, with no reduction in either. However, if you have made a deposit and are eligible for military retired pay, you will have to waive that pay when you retire from your civilian job or you won’t get credit for that time. If you don’t waive that pay, you’ll receive a refund of your deposit, plus 3 percent interest.

Because this is a site for federal civilian employees and retirees, I don’t know when you could begin receiving your retired pay from either the reserves or active duty.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply