Retirement eligibility


 Q. How many years does a retired veteran of 22 years need to work for the federal government before retiring again?

A. It’s a matter of minimum retirement age and years of service. MRAs range from 55 to 57 depending on an employee’s year of birth. With that in mind, the standard retirement combinations are as follows: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, at the MRA with 30 and at the MRA with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years. In the latter case, the retiree’s annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that he is under age 62. Note: Retired military can make a deposit to get credit for their years of active-duty service and have it used in their annuity computation. However, at retirement, they would have to waive their military retired pay. Those receiving reserve retired pay only need to make a deposit for any period(s) of active-duty service, not waive their reserve retired pay.


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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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