Q: I am 52 and have 31 years of creditable service. FERS is my retirement plan and my minimum retirement age is 56, when I’m entitled to receive full medical and life insurance benefits, including supplemental income until age 62. I am considering leaving the federal government to work for a private firm for four to five years. Then my plan is to return to the government when I turn 57. When I do return to government service, how many more years must I work before I qualify to retire with full retirement benefits?
A: Because you would have the right combination of age and service, you could retire at any time after being re-employed. However, if you have a conscience, you ought to stay on-board long enough to repay your agency for the effort they put in to hire you.