Military buyback and leave accrual


Q. I served 15 years and nine months active duty with the Air Force. I received an honorable discharge and $58,608 as part of an early release program special separation benefit during a reduction in force in 1994. I am considering accepting a government position and would like to know how/if my prior military service can be applied to leave accrual, as well as federal retirement?

A. You would get credit for your active-duty service in determining your leave accrual rate. However, unless you make a deposit to the civilian retirement system for that period of service, you won’t get any credit for it in determining your length of service or have it used in your annuity computation.


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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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