Question about retirement


Q: I have been working for the federal government since January 1989. My first four years were as a temporary employee. It seems I can only buy back about six to nine months of this. I am under the FERS retirement and it has designated 56 as my minimum retirement age. I know that I would get reduced benefits, but I would like to retire with 25 full years. Can I retire with 25 years before my MRA? If I can, what would the reduced benefits be? I am looking to retire as early as I possibly can from federal government. I am not worried about the reduction in the money I could get but my only concern is I want to be able to keep my health benefits. Thank you for all of your information on this subject.

A: No, you can’t retire before reaching your minimum retirement age. You could, of course, resign and later apply for a deferred annuity. With at least 20 years service, you could do that at age 60.

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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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