Military buyback


Q. In about 1996, my wife bought back eight years of active-duty Air Force time (for about $4,700). She got out in 1984. This gave her an adjusted service computation date of June 1978. She has more than 35 years now and is over age 55.

A retirement adviser said that when she retires, she will get her FERS annuity. However, he said that because she bought back her military time (for $4,700), she will get an additional $320 per month, forever on top of her annuity. Is this correct?

A. Because she made a deposit for her active-duty service, that time will be added to her actual service and used in the computation of her annuity. Instead of getting credit for 27 years of civilian service, she’ll get credit for 35. It will just be part of her annuity, not something that will be on top of it.


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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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