Q: If offered voluntary early retirement at age 52 with 27 years of service, would an individual still receive the 5 percent FERS benefit reduction a year for each year under 62? In other words, are FERS folks still subject to the 5 percent penalty minimum retirement age rule that is part of the FERS Immediate Retirement policy?

A: Any FERS employee who meets the age and service requirements for early retirement — age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25 — and accepts the offer won’t be subject to the age reduction penalty.


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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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  1. I just got my statement on 4/18/2011 of my expected retirement benefits from the National Retirement Counseling System of the USPS and I would get a 30% reduction in my FERS annuity. I am 56 years old with 27 years of service in. I am under FERS and that would be over $3000 per year reduction.
    It is very conflicting when some like you say there is no reduction and others say there would be a penalty

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