Annuity computation, MRA, leave and discontinued service retirement


Q. I am a FERS employee. I am 57 with 26 years of service.

1. Do I get annuity computation for sick leave? If so, how is it computed?

2. I was born in 1956. What is my minimum retirement age, and how much service should I have under the MRA?

3. What happens with my annual and sick leave when I retire?

4. When should I start preparing my paperwork for my retirement?

5. My agency is going through a reorganization. We have the options for early retirement, buyout, being reassigned to New York or Boston (I live in D.C.), or leave the agency. Would the above actions make me eligible for the discontinued service retirement? Would I be penalized for every year I’m under 62?

A. Because you have at least 25 years of service, you could retire at any age if you are offered a discontinued service retirement. As a FERS employee, there wouldn’t be any age-based reduction in your annuity.

Assuming that you retire on or after Jan. 1, 2014, you’d get full credit for any unused sick leave in the computation of your annuity. If you retire before that, you’d only get half credit. Regardless of when you retire, you’d receive a lump-sum payment for all of your unused annual leave.

You shouldn’t begin preparing your paperwork until you receive an official notice that you are eligible for a DSR, unless you aren’t offered an early retirement opportunity and decide to retire anyway under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age with between 10 and 29 years of service). If you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that you were under age 62. You could, of course, reduce that penalty by retiring and delaying the receipt of your annuity to a later date.


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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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