Military buyback and leave accrual


Q. I’m retired from the Navy with 21 years of service (December 1984 to December 2005). I just started a job with the Veterans Affairs Department in a civilian GS position. I’m listed in Leave Group 1. Because I am retired, I have to start from the beginning in Leave Group 1. Other service members who did not retire start off in Leave Group 2. It feels like I’m getting penalized for being retired. They say some of the campaigns I served in may count. Is this true? If so, how does it work?

A. You’ll find what you’re looking for in the Office of Personnel Management’s VetGuide. Go to and scroll down to Service Credit for Leave Rate Accrual and Retirement.


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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