Retire now or wait for RIF?


Q. I am a 58-year-old Defense Department civilian GS-13 with 25 years. I am trying to decide when to retire in the next year or so. What will be the benefits if I wait and there is a reduction in force next year? Is there any risk that retirement benefits will be reduced if I wait?

A. Here are the facts:

– You could retire now under the MRA+10 provision. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you are under age 62.

– If there were a RIF (or you were offered early retirement) next year, you could retire without penalty and your annuity would be computed using the standard 1 percent multiplier.

– If you waited until you are age 60 to retire, you’d receive an unreduced annuity which would be computed using the higher 1.1 percent multiplier rather than 1 percent.

Because my crystal ball is broken, I can’t predict what the future of retirement benefits will be.


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  1. Stay employed as long as possible because you will probably never find a job-let alone a good paying job with the great benefits you now have. If you like your job or if it is tolerable and your health is good stay there. You don’t know how long you will live but you have to plan on living to age 90 and insuring you have the financial means to hang in that long. Also, if you have worked most of your life one of your biggest concerns will be what to do to occupy your mind. Your will miss your work buddies and the social intercourse. I am age 75 and I worked from age 12 to age 72 and I still miss work.

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