Military service and buyback for earlier retirement


Q. I’ll soon leave military service to work as an SES.

1) How many military years can I buy back into federal retirement system? I have 15 years of active duty and 10 years of reserve duty. Can I buy back all 25 years? 2) If so, does that mean I can retire from federal service after five years of service, totaling 30 years total? I would be age 50 at that time, born in 1967.

A. You may make a deposit to get credit for all your active-duty service, but none of your reserve service. As for when you could retire, you’d have to meet one of the following combinations of age and service: 62 with five, 60 with 20, at your minimum retirement age with 30 or at your MRA with at least 10 but fewer than 30. In the last case, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were younger than 62, unless you retired and postponed the receipt of your annuity to reduce or eliminate the age penalty. Note: Your MRA is 57.


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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