Retirement due to health


Q. I joined the National Guard in March 1981. I served with no breaks in service. I have deployed twice, May 2002- May 2003 (Title 10) and January 2007-May 2008 (Title 10). I also served active status from November 2008-present. I am currently on active duty (Title 32) and it could be possible that I may be found unfit to continue service due to heath issues. I may not return to my previous job because of the restrictions brought on by my recent health issues. I am worried I will not be able to provide for my family as I always have.

A. If you are a CSRS National Guard technician who is involuntarily separated (not for delinquency or misconduct) from your position, you can get a discontinued service annuity at any age with 25 years of service, or at age 50 with 20 years of service. That annuity is reduced by 2 percent for each year you are under 55 years of age. On the other hand, if you are medically disqualified for military duty and have five years of creditable civilian service, you may receive disability benefits without meeting the usual CSRS disability criteria.
The rules are different for National Guard technician covered by FERS. If you are separated from civilian service because you are no longer qualified as a member of a military reserve component, you may retire and receive an unreduced annuity at age 50 with 25 years of service. On the other hand, if your military status is lost due to a disability, FERS disability benefits are payable after only 18 months of FERS service. Also, the Special Retirement Supplement is paid until age 62. It is not subject to the Social Security Earnings Test until you reach your minimum retirement age.


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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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