Retirement age


Q. I am a full-time FERS employee born in 1959 with a minimum retirement age of 56 but with 21 years with the Department of Transportation, two years in the Defense Department and six years in the military. What is the earliest age I would be able to retire given years of service? What would be the effects (reduction in benefits) of retiring at that minimum age? What is the minimum age I could retire without a reduction in benefits?

A. The earliest age at which you could retire is when you reach your minimum retirement age — 56 — which is three years from now. At that time, you would have 26 years of service (24 DoT and two DoD). Therefore, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) you were under age 62. You could, of course, postpone the receipt of your annuity to a later date to reduce or eliminate the age penalty. If you want to retire on an unreduced annuity, you have two choices: work four more years and retire at age 60 or, if you’d prefer to retire at age 56, you could make a deposit to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund for your active-duty service. That would boost you over the 30-years-of-service mark.


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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