Q: I retired from the military in 2000 after 20 years of service and started receiving a regular military retirement anunity (with a 30 percent disabled Veterans Administration offset). I didn’t buy back any military time for FERS. I also am approaching age 50 and have just past 10 years FERS service. What are my best options for retiring at age 55? Also, would it still be to my advantage to buy back my military time since I do have a 30 percent disability and that could increase in the future.
A: You don’t have any options for retiring at age 55. Because you were born between 1953 and 1964, your minimum retirement age is 56. You could retire at age 56 under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service), but your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you are under age 62. The only way to reduce or avoid that reduction would be to retire but postpone the receipt of your annuity until a later date. If you want to combine your military and civilian service, you would need to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and, when you retire, waive your military retired pay. Doing this would not affect your disability pay from the VA.