Annuity eligibility


Q. I’m 48 years old with 25 years of service under FERS. I’m thinking of taking a position with a state agency within the next two years. When can I collect my federal retirement if I leave federal service? Also, what would happen with my sick leave and annual leave balance?

A. When you left government, you’d receive a lump-sum payment for your unused annual leave. Your unused sick leave would be lost unless you returned to work for the government. If you did, those hours would be restored. If you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60.


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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