DoD and VA benefits


Q. I am a Navy Reserve 05 with 33 years of service, 12 of them active duty.

I was recalled to active duty and have completed eight years of active duty in direct OIF/OEF Presidential Recall. I turn 58 in November and have been accepted to a job at the VA. I could have retired in September and collected money, but I stayed on active duty.

Now that I am going to come off orders and work for the VA, how do I choose what to do with the joining of DoD and VA retirement? Can I retire from the Navy and collect retirement pay while working at the VA and collect VA benefits?

A. If you are receiving (or are entitled to receive) reserve retired pay, you can make a deposit to the civilian retirement system for any periods of active-duty service and get credit for it in determining your length of civilian service and have it used in the computation of your annuity.

Doing that won’t affect either your entitlement to or the amount of your reserve retired pay.

On the other hand, if you are receiving (or are entitled to) military retired pay, you would not only have to make a deposit to the civilian retired system but, at retirement from your civilian job, waive your military retired pay.

Your personnel office can tell you how to find out what you would owe and how to make that deposit if you decide to do that.


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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