The '80 rule'


 Q. I will have 25 years under FERS once I complete the buyback of my military time and 15 years of federal time at age 56. Is it true that I have labored under the misconception of the 80 rule all these years? When I was hired, this information was in my package. I can’t believe I have been looking forward to a full retirement just to hear I will lose more than 30 percent.

A. The “80 rule” is a bit of folklore that’s been rattling around for decades. It has no basis in fact. No CSRS employee has ever been able to retire on an unreduced annuity when his age and years of service added up to 80. And only one category of FERS employee can do that: one who is age 60 and has 20 years of service.

Once you have reached your minimum retirement age, you can retire on an unreduced annuity when you have 30 years of service. If you don’t, you’d be retiring under the MRA+10 provision, and your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that you are under age 62.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply