Deferred retirement vs. disability retirement


Q. I am a 51-year old FERS employee with 28 years of service. Because of my declining health, I plan to resign and take a deferred retirement. With more than 20 years of service under FERS, I can begin receiving a deferred annuity at age 60. Can I receive a reduced annuity at age 56, my minimum retirement age? If so, will the reduction be 20 percent or 30 percent? In other words, will I be penalized 20 percent (5 percent per year for four years) between the ages of 56 and 60, or 30 percent for the six years between the ages of 56 and 62?

A. The only way you could receive a reduced annuity at your MRA would be if your agency was authorized to offer early retirement under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and yours was one of the positions included in the offer. Since you mentioned your declining health, you may want to consider applying for disability retirement.


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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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