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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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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