Military buyback


 Q. I need to clarify my situation on military buyback into FERS as I keep getting conflicting answers. I am an Army reservist: 28 years of service with 24 active duty (365 days per year). I would like to enter government service. I know I cannot buy back my 24 years and receive both retirements once I am receiving my retirement pay. However, in the government employee book, it says I can buy back up to all of my active service as long as I am not collecting my military retirement. So if I am hired tomorrow, while on terminal leave, can I buy back my 24 years, vest in the civil service retirement and then apply for my military retirement and receive retirement pay and when I retire in say, six years from civil service, retire with both my civil service and my military retirements? Or would I have to wait and only apply for my regular reserve retirement at age 60 to receive both?

A. If you are receiving or are eligible for a military retirement benefit, you’ll have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system to get credit for that time in determining your years of civilian service and have it used in the computation of your annuity. When you retire from your civilian job, you’d have to waive the receipt of your military retired pay, whether you are currently receiving it or would be entitled to it in the future.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply