Q. I am 47 years old, and I’m a nurse in a government hospital. In 2009, I injured my back, which required surgery. I’ve been off sick since 2010, going in and out of doctors. Early this year, I was told by my superiors to come back to work, but I’m still not feeling well. I sometimes can’t even walk because of the screws put into my back.
I have asked for early retirement because I have more than 25 years of service, but they won’t allow me. They say I must resign if I don’t want to work. Please help.
A. Your agency doesn’t have the authority to offer you early retirement. There is no law or regulation that would allow them to do that. Therefore, what you should consider is filing for disability retirement. Your agency is required to help you do that. If your application is approved by the Office of Personnel Management, you’d be entitled to a disability annuity. If it doesn’t, you’d have two choices: return to work or resign. If you resigned and left your contributions in the retirement fund, you could apply for a deferred retirement at age 60.