Early retirement


Q.  I retired from the Navy in 1998 (early retirement) with 16 years of service and am receiving military early retired pay. I’ve been employed by the Defense Department under FERS since 2000. Can I retire from DoD after 16 years? I will be 51 when I want to retire in 2016.
Also, will I be eligible for the supplemental payment? If my command does a reduction in force, should I apply? What are the penalties if I do?

A. You won’t be able to retire from your civilian position in 2016 because you won’t have the age and service needed to retire on an immediate annuity. To do that, you’d have to meet one of the following criteria: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, at your minimum retirement age (in your case 56 and 2 months) with 30 or at your MRA with 10, but with a 5 percent penalty for each year yo were under age 62. Even if you were to receive a reduction-in-force notice, you wouldn’t meet the age and service criteria for discontinued service retirement: age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25. Now if you made a deposit for your active duty service and got a RIF notice, you’d have the years of service needed to retire at age 50, but you’d have to waive your military retired pay. Other than that, you only have two choices.  Stay at work until you are eligible to retire or leave government and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach age 62.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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