Retiring before 60


Q. I am 58 years old with 22 years of service. If I elect to leave the service before I reach my 60th birthday, can I retire on my 60th birthday under a deferred retirement, or do I need to wait until my 62nd birthday? Will I have any penalties for leaving before my 60th birthday?

A. Because you have at least 20 years of creditable service, you could leave government and, if you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions, apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. The annuity you received would be based on your years of service and high-3 on the day you left, and computed using the standard formula: .01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service.


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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