Military service deposit


Q. I’m medically separating from the Air Force with 14 years active duty. If I work for the U.S. Postal Service, how early would I be looking at full retirement if I buy the 14 years back?

A. With 30 years of creditable service – actual and active duty service for which you’ve made a deposit – you could receive an immediate, unreduced annuity at your minimum retirement age. MRAs range between 55 and 57, depending on your year of birth. Note: If you are receiving military retired pay, you would not only have to “buy back” the time but also waive that pay.


About Author

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


  1. I was married to leslie posey for 11 years and never remarried im inquiring about my civil service federal government retirement i was told if your married 10 years i qualify for half of his retirement and how much will i get he retired already im disabled and need this money

    • If you were granted a portion of his pay and/or his annuity in the divorce decree (and that decree was filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management), you are entitled to that benefit. If it wasn’t, you aren’t entitled to anything.

  2. If you are medically leaving the military then don’t sign up to be a carrier at USPS cause that JOB is a lot harder than what it appears. I’ve seen many people fall FLAT on their face….take a boring inside job.

  3. Perhaps the Questioner needs to look at this site for more detailed information on combining military service with a Federal retirement. Medical separation would not preclude one from working in the USPS. Needing a hearing aid, for example… The USPS work environment is changing rapidly. Talk to your letter carrier, talk to the window clerk at the PO, and any other postal employee that you run into to get their take on whether it’s worth starting a career there, what the work climate is, and what the work is really like. (I am retired Military and retired USPS.)

  4. Also one would think hearing aids would be okay…but, I live in southern Louisiana & the heat is horrid then when u r in a mail truck, the temp soars up to 140 easily…..hearing aids cannot handle the sweat. They are NOT water proof! If u cannot hear, u cannot drive. Now you will probably get hired and u can muddle ur way thru it like I did; but, with all of the changes & all the managers are worried about is SPEED SPEED SPEED then this job will only get worse for the hearing impaired. Being nervous definitely does not help the inability to hear. Also one must consider the rain and any manner in which the hearing aids can get wet. As a mail carrier, I NEVER had the time to fiddle with my hearing aids and adjust the settings, etc

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