Military buyback


Q. I am retired from the Army with 20 years of active-duty service and I have been employed with the Veterans Affairs Department for four months. Can I buy back my military time and continue to draw my retirement pay? Or am I just starting fresh at VA?

A. You have a choice. You can begin a new career at VA or you can make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and combine your active duty and civilian service. If you decide to do the latter, you can continue to receive your military retired pay until you retire from your civilian job. At that point, you’ll have to waive your military retired pay.

Note: Regardless of whether you do or don’t make a deposit, you have to have five years of actual civilian service to be vested in the civilian retirement system.


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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