Military service deposits


Q. I completed active duty in the Air Force for a four-year enlistment, got out and immediately and jumped into the Air National Guard and was hired as a full-time federal employee. I accumulated 15+ years of federal employment and six years total active duty and was RIF’d one and a half years ago. Do I have a time limit after separating from the GS system to buy back my active-duty days so I can retire with 20+ years of civil service? I understand I need to be on the GS system to buy back any active duty years. I was told 3 yrs but I need to make sure as I am now past my 20-year mark to find another GS job to buy back my active-duty time. I am currently DSG (part time guardsman).

A. You only need to be a federal employee — full or part-time — to make a deposit for those years of active-duty service. There is no time limit on when you can do that.


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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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