Q.  I earned my 20 years as a law enforcement officer on Nov. 18. However, I am only 46 yrs old.  Can I leave federal service and apply for my retirement on my 50th birthday or do I have to be employed by the government until age 50 and then apply for retirement?

A. If you resigned from the government, you could apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age, which in your case would be 56. However, there are downsides to doing that. Alternatively, you could look around for a non-LEO covered federal job. If you were hired into one, you would be able to retire at age 50.


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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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