Military buyback


Q. Is it possible to buy back military service credit even if I am not currently employed by the government? I may at some future date return to federal service, but not for several more years. My concern is that I would like to purchase my military service credit before I retire from the Army Reserve (one to two more years). My understanding is that once I retire from military service, I am no longer eligible to purchase military service credit. If it is possible to do this, who would I contact to begin the process? I was a FERS-covered employee from 1992 to 2012. I did not withdraw my retirement contributions when I left federal service. I have 10 years of active military service. I have not previously purchased any military service credit.
A. The only way you could make a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service is to return to work for the federal government. Note: Employees who are receiving either military retired pay or reserve retired pay are eligible to make a deposit to get credit for their active-duty service. However, as a rule, those receiving military retired pay must also waive their military retired pay when they retire from their civilian jobs.


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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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