Pension vs. annuity


Q. I want to retire at age 60 with 16 years of service under FERS. Will I be able to collect my pension even if there is a penalty? What about my annuity?

A. The terms pension and annuity are interchangeable. You would be able to receive one under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service). That pension/annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per moth) that you were under age 62. You could reduce or eliminate the penalty by deferring 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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