Q. I served in the Marine Corps active duty from 1975-1987, then in December 1987 became a civil servant under FERS as a special agent (1811) until I retired in 2009 with 21 years of civil service. I bought back my 12½ years of active-duty military time, giving me 33½ years of federal service at age 51 (I was 17 when I joined the Marines).

I stayed in the Marine Corps Reserves with 20 good years and will start to draw my military retirement annuity at age 60.

I am 55. What is my MRA? I receive the special retirement supplement now (retired under the law enforcement/firefighter special provision); will it end when I am 56? Or if my MRA is 62, will it end then and will I begin to draw my full Social Security annuity?

A. You were born in 1968, so your minimum retirement age is 56 years and eight months. However, because you were a law enforcement officer, you were entitled to receive the special retirement supplement on the day you retired. The SRS will stop when you reach age 62, at which time you’ll be eligible for a Social Security benefit. If you apply for it at that time, the benefit will be 30 percent less than it would be if you had waited until you were older. Because you were born in 1968, your full Social Security retirement age is 67.


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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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