FERS retirement options


Q. I have some vague idea that some benefits are linked to completing 10 years of federal service, but I can’t find details or facts.

I’m under FERS, have a service computation date of 2004, have worked full time since 2007 and worked TERM appointment 2004-2007.

I thought I would last until 2014. However my elder parent and young grandchild could both use my service and time, and thus I am considering leaving before my 2014 date and working from home in a nonfederal job.

How would that affect my benefits — just resigning before 10 years? I’m only 55 and won’t be submitting for retirement benefits until 63 or later.

A. You are referring to the MRA+10 provision, which allows FERS employees to retire at their minimum retirement age with at least 10 years of service. Since your MRA is 56 and you don’t have 10 years of service, you can’t retire. If you leave government before being eligible to retire, you can leave your contributions in the retirement fund and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. FYI: If you were able to hang on until you were 56 and had 10 years of service, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. On the other hand, you could retire and postpone the receipt of your annuity to reduce or eliminate the age penalty.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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