Reg Jones Expert's View

Last week I wrote about the rules governing leave accrual and retirement for employees who had served on active duty but hadn’t retired from the military. This time I’ll focus on employees who have served on active duty and who are receiving (or will be receiving) military retired pay.

To refresh your memory, honorable active duty service includes uniformed service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, the regular Corps or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service, and as a commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Other creditable service includes attendance as a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy and as a Cadet at either U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, or the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.


Post-1956 military service – retired military

• Leave accrual: Retired members of the armed forces rarely get annual leave credit for their military service. The main exception is for those whose retirement was based on disability that either resulted from an injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and was incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in sections 101 and 301 of title 38, U.S. Code. For other exceptions, go to and scroll to Service Credit.

• Retirement credit: If you are retired from active duty in the armed forces, as a rule you’ll have to do two things to get credit for your active duty service. First, make a deposit for that time under the rules and deposit requirements spelled out below.

The amount of the deposit equals 7 percent of your basic military pay (not including allowances or differentials) for any active duty service before January 1, 1999. The deposit for service during 1999 is 7.25 percent, during 2000, 7.4 percent, and after December 31, 2000, it’s back to 7 percent.

If you are a FERS employee, you don’t have a choice. To get credit for any period of active duty, you’ll have to make a deposit for that time. The deposit equals 3 percent of your basic military pay prior to January 1, 1999. In 1999 it’s 3.25, in 2000, 3.40 percent and after December 31, 2000, it’s back to 3 percent.

Second, when you retire from your civilian job, as a rule you’ll have to waive your military retired pay. The main exception to that requirement is the same one that applies to leave accrual.

Note: If you retired from a reserve component of the armed forces, you won’t have to waive your reserve retire pay if it was granted under the provisions of Chapter 67 of title 10 of the U.S. Code. You will have to make a deposit for any periods of active duty service to get credit for that time as described above.