Penalties for early retirement


Q: I am 57 and a FERS employee with slightly more than 11 years federal civilian service. I am told that under certain conditions of discontinued service/VSIP, VERA, etc., it is possible for early retirement under MRA +10 without penalties for an immediate annuity. Is that correct?

A: The age penalty of 5 percent per year applies to all retirements under the MRA+10 provision. However, you can reduce  the penalty by postponing the receipt of your annuity to a later date. Because you have fewer than 20 years of service, you’d have to wait until age 62 to eliminate it. If you had 20 or more, it would be 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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