Q. I am 43 years old. I have been at the VA for 13 years. My minimum retirement age is 56 years and 10 months. I plan on retiring at age 54. I understand my pension will be calculated by 0.01 times the average of 3 highest pay years and times 24 years of service. Will there be a 5 percent penalty for each year that is not at my MRA, thus for me it’s two years 10 months. If so, can I retire and not collect on my pension until age 56 years and 10 months and avoid the penalty?
A. Unless your agency offers you an opportunity to retire early, you can’t retire before reaching your minimum retirement age. As an alternative, when you have at least 20 years of service, you could resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 60.