Military service and buyback


Q. I am a traditional guardsman and am considering federal employment.

Does any of my inactive duty or mobilized time count toward retirement or leave accrual? I’m 43. What is the minimum number of years I would need to work to qualify for a pension, even deferred? Whom can I contact for more information?

A. While you would get credit in determining your leave accrual rate for any periods when you were called up for active duty in the service of the United States, you wouldn’t receive any credit for retirement unless you made a deposit to the retirement fund. Once you’re hired, you agency personnel office can tell you how to make a deposit, if you decide to. If you do make a deposit, it will be treated as actual service when computing your annuity.

The age and service requirements to retire are as follows: 62 with 5, 60 with 20, at your minimum retirement age with 30 or at your MRA with between 10 and 29. Since you were born in 1960, your MRA is 56.

Note: If you retire under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. You can reduce or eliminate that penalty by postponing the receipt of your annuity.


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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