Retiring early


Q. My wife is 50 and is covered by CSRS.  She has 28 years of service and wants to retire early.  Is she eligible and what is the penalty?

A. She isn’t eligible for early retirement unless her agency offers her that opportunity. And it can’t do that unless OPM has authorized it under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. Even if VERA approval was granted, early retirement offers would only be available to units, occupations, grade levels and/or geographic locations where a reduction in staff is needed. If, by chance, she received such an offer and accepted it, her annuity would be reduced by 2 percent per year (1/6 percent per month) that she was under age 55 when she retired.





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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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