Military buyback, bonus and taxes


Q. I am interested about buying back my military time. However, I received a separation bonus from the military when I left. How is the buyback calculated in addition to my time in service? (Is it considered normal income?)

A. Your separation bonus has no bearing on the amount you’d have to deposit to get credit for your active-duty service. You’ll have to ask a tax specialist how that bonus is treated for tax purposes.


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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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