Regular retirement vs. MRA+10 option


Q: I asked my HR person if I could retire this September and this is the answer: “I’m sorry but you will not be able to retire in September of this year. What you could do is resign and request a deferred annuity from OPM. Your annuity commencement date would be 2/6/2016. Otherwise you will have to wait until 3/13/2012 for voluntary retirement or 2/6/2012 to become eligible for the MRA +10 option.” What is the difference in money and time for starting monthly checks between regular retirement and the MRA + 10 option?

A: While there is no difference in the time it takes OPM to provide you with a regular or MRA+10 retirement check, there is a dramatic difference in the amount you would receive. As a regular retiree, you’d receive the annuity you were entitled to based on your high-3 and years of service. As an MRA+10 retiree, that same annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62, unless you were at least age 60 when you retired and had at least 20 years of service. The only way to reduce or eliminate that penalty would be to retire and delay the receipt of your annuity to a later time.


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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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