Q. I’m a FERS employee. If I take the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority that is offered now at the age of 56 with 25 years, will I be penalized anyway?

A. No. Your annuity will be based on 25 years of service and won’t be reduced by the 5 percent-per-year penalty for being under age 62. Further, because you will have already reached your minimum retirement age, you’ll immediately be entitled to the special retirement supplement.


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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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