Special category employees and SRS


Q. I am trying to understand the special retirement supplement. I am under FERS. I plan on retiring from a position of air traffic controller at my mandatory retirement age of 56 with 33 years and four months of service (I was born in 1962). I have been told by a few people that because I am forced to retire at age 56, the special retirement supplement will not be means tested. Is that correct?

A. Special category employees, such as air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers and firefighters, who retire before their minimum retirement age can earn as much as they want without being subject to the Social Security earnings limit. When they reach their MRA, the earnings limit is applied. Since you will have reached your MRA, you’ll be subject to the earnings limit as soon as you retire.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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