Reserves service credit


Q. I’ve made a deposit to get credit for my two years of active duty service. I also spent a good deal of time in the reserves on weekend and annual active duty for training. Will I receive any credit for that time? If so, would the credit go toward leave or retirement?

A. No civilian credit of any kind is given for time spent in the reserves.


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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


  1. Time of active duty, including active duty for training is eligible for credit as long as it’s paid back.

    from a Military Times article:

    Reference CSRS/FERS Policy Handbook, Chapter 22, Creditable Military Service, Page 8. The Reservist can only use the time served on active duty and that includes the two-week annual training periods — but not the time served on weekend duty or when not called up for active service.

    If a Reservist is receiving retired pay at the time of civilian retirement, then it appears Reserve time served can be used toward civilian retirement. See CSRS/FERS Policy Handbook, Chapter 22, Creditable Military Service, Page 15 and Page 13.

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance I read does not explain many of the details I still have questions about. It would be best to find an OPM expert who can provide the exact answer.

    • Page 8 also has this note:
      NOTE: When an employee performs active military service with a reserve unit during a period in which he or she is on military leave (or furlough) from a civilian position, the period is credited as civilian, not military service. (See section 22A6.1-2.)

  2. I thought you could recieve credit for reserve service for those times you were receiving active duty pay. For example, annual training, schools etc where you recieved active duty pay.

    Not to be confused with “Drill pay” which reservist recieve for weekend duty.

    Could you please clarify and expound on which duty types can be used to purchase miltary service credit?

  3. Thank you Dennis for the references. Very helpful!

    I think I also heard that you need to have orders and your LES to prove it.

    DFAS website has a way to order all your old LES. They send them to you as a PDF.

      • Great info.

        I paid for 10 years of military duty into my civilian FERS job. I left that job after 9 years. I figured I would get 19% of high three.

        Question? I am about to finish up a 20 year Reserve Military obligation. Will I be able to collect that 19% and a reserve retirement at the same time?

        I went through the handbook and still not sure.


        • The fact that you will be entitled to reserve retired pay will have no affect on your civilian annuity. That annuity will include your active duty service for which you made a deposit.

        • John – It sounds like you have additional active duty time while you were in the Army reserve. You might look into going back to federal service and buying back that additional time. I think if you time everything right it could work out for you. good luck

  4. If I buy back all of my active duty time, how many points will be used to calculate my military reserve retirement pay?

    US Navy Total service – 25 years 11 months 25 days
    Active Duty – 11 years, 1 month, 25 days – 4070 points
    Reserves – 14 years 10 months – 1152 points
    Total retirement points creditable for pay – 5222
    Retired US Navy Reserve 06/01/2014

    • Making a deposit to get civilian credit for your active duty service will have no affect on your military reserve pay.

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