Q. My agency will be offering early retirement this year, and I am confused as to whether I will be penalized if I accept it. I have 25½ years of service and will turn 50 in October. What are the negatives for my taking an early retirement — that is, penalties, loss of benefits, etc.?
A. If you accepted the early retirement offer, your annuity would be based on the standard FERS formula and your years and full months of service.
You’d also receive credit for half of your unused sick leave in your annuity computation. Further, the 5 percent per year penalty for being under age 62 would be waived. Because you are under your minimum retirement age, you wouldn’t begin receiving the special retirement supplement until you reach age 56.
If you were enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs for five consecutive years (or at least before the early out offer was made), you’d be able to carry that coverage into retirement.