Early retirement for spouse's illness


Q. I am a FERS employee with 27 years of service at 56 years old. Because my spouse is ill, I will have to retire early (sometime this year) to take care of him. Do I get penalized the 5 percent? Do I get to keep health and life insurance? And do I receive the Social Security supplement?

A. Because you would be retiring under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62 and you wouldn’t be eligible for the special retirement supplement. On the other hand, you would be able to continue your Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage if you were enrolled (or covered by) the program for the five consecutive years before your retired.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. patricia Slaymaker on

    My spouse is sick. I am 59 I have 19 years in .can I take early retirement and keep my health insurance .and life insurance, What about if I worked on call

    • You could retire under the MRA+10 provision; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. If you did, you could continue your health and life insurance, as long as you had been enrolled in them for the 5 consecutive years before you retire. You could instead work part-time and continue as a federal employee and retire on an unreduced annuity at age 60. I doubt that working on-call would qualify.

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