Military buyback


Q. I retired from the Army after 23 years and began my civilian service last year. I have seen from your blog that, even as a military retiree, I can buy back my years of military service and apply them to my federal service. But if I do:

1. Do I lose my health care through Tricare?

2. At what point do I stop receiving my military retirement pay (when I buy back my military service time or when I retire from civilian service)?

3. Would this affect my disability pay, which I believe is separate from my military retirement pay?

4. What other benefits would I lose as a military retiree, e.g., on-base benefits such as shopping at the commissary and post exchange, etc.?

A. 1. No.

2. Just before you retire.

3. No, as long as that pay is through the Veterans Affairs Department.

4. Not to the best of my knowledge. However, you’ll need to check with your branch of service.


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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