Voluntary vs. mandatory retirement


Q. I am eligible for retirement March 21 as a law enforcement officer under FERS. I will have 20 years of law enforcement experience and am age 56. Because I turn 57 in October (seven months later), I will be forced to retire Oct. 31.

Aside from the extra approximately $8.56 per month I will get in my annuity for each month I stay after March and the benefit of having a full salaried job for seven more months, is there any advantage to me retiring under mandatory retirement age versus voluntary?

The combination of my projected annuity and special retirement supplement provides me with a net of approximately $500 per month less than what I currently take home.

My intention is to get a part-time job to bridge the $500 gap not to exceed the maximum allowed wage of $14,640 so as not to affect my Social Security.

Also, I heard from a retirement counselor who said if you wait until you are forced out, you might qualify for unemployment benefits depending on your state.

A. While the final decision is up to your state, it’s unlikely that you’d be eligible for unemployment benefits.


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  1. I sure wish your answers would not be so brief. Hopefully the writer lives in California, where WE do receive unemployment benefits due to our ‘FORCED” retirement. Also, could you also suggest that he if has 240 hours of A/L at the start of calendar year 2013, leaving in October would allow him to receive a larger payout for unused annual leave as oppsoed to retiring in March.

  2. Jack: thanks. Yes. A bit brief. Answered my q. Re unemployment but not whether there was any real difference to consider in mandatory vs voluntary…aside from the extra $8.56 per month id receive for each month I stay past march 21….im going to guess that for all intensive purposes but for the 240 annual leave payout (thank you)…it wont matter. Thanks.

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