Q: I have 30 years of federal service and am under the Civil Service Retirement System. Next week, I will be 52 years old. I was thinking about retiring before age 55, and I know about the 2 percent reduction in monthly retirement benefits for every year under age 55. When I contacted the Office of Personnel Management about an early retirement, the answer was that I had to wait until age 55 to retire unless my agency offered an early out or buyout.
Maybe I’m not using the correct terminology. Is there any way for me to “retire” before I reach age 55? If I can retire before 55, at what age will I start to receive my monthly retirement benefits? If I retire before 55, will there be additional reductions other than the 2 percent reduction for every year under age 55?
A: What OPM told you was correct. You could only retire before age 55 if your agency offered you an opportunity to retire early. Since it hasn’t, the earliest you can retire is age 55.