Active-duty service and military buyback


Q. I got the gist of how this works — however, I did not see this. As a reservist and able to go on deployments (active-duty mobilization) or take orders (active duty, then drop back to reserve status), as a reservist I can rack up a good 15 years’ worth of active-duty points toward my reserve retirement.

How many of those years can I buy back in the federal retirement system without affecting my reserve retirement? Can I go as high as 19 active-duty years and ride out with a reserve retirement and buy back 19 years?

A. You may only make a deposit for periods of active-duty service. To find out what qualifies as active-duty service, go to


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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