Safeguards against job and benefits loss


Q. I’m a FERS employee in a permanent, salaried position with the Air Force. I’m eligible for immediate retirement in December at age 60 with 28.5 years. With all the civilian cuts  in the Department of Defense (no official reduction in force yet), are there any safeguards that protect people this close to retirement so they don’t have to worry about losing their jobs (and well-deserved benefits)?

All I’ve found is: 1) my seniority (for RIF purposes), and 2) CFR Title 5, Ch. 1, SubCh. A, Part 351.606 and Part 630.212.

A. No, there aren’t any safeguards as such. However, because you would meet the age and service requirements for early retirement (50 with 20 years or any age with 25), if you were given a specific notice that you were going to be separated, you could retire on an immediate, age penalty-free annuity.


About Author

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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