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Federal Retirement

One of the benefits of Federal civil service is the ability to receive retirement benefits based on your civil service. As a general rule, military service in the Armed Forces of the United States is creditable for Federal retirement purposes if it was active service terminated under honorable conditions, and performed prior to separation from civilian service for retirement.

Creditable Military Service Buy-Back for FERS

Federal employees who are veterans can receive retirement credit for military service once they make a deposit into a civilian annuity covering their military service. The deposit will be processed through your agency’s Personnel or Human Resources Office. The military buy-back rules vary based on the year the veteran became employed by the Federal Government. Detailed information regarding creditable military service for retirement purposes can be located within the Federal Employees Retirement System Transfer Handbook (PDF file)

Waiving Military Retirement

Most military retirees are barred from receiving credit toward a civilian annuity unless they waive their military retired pay.

You cannot receive credit for any military service in your FERS retirement computation, if you are receiving military retired pay, unless you were awarded the retired pay:

  • Due to a service-connected disability either incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war, or
  • Under the provisions of Chapter 1223, Title 10, U.S.C. (pertaining to retirement from a reserve component of the Armed Forces).

For additional information about federal retirement and military retired pay, visit OPM's Retirement Center

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