Annuity eligibility


Q. I am a Defense Department firefighter with 20 years in service. I also have four years of military time, which I bought back. I want to leave DoD fire and work in another federal office that is also covered by FERS. I am 42 years old. I want to leave now with 20 years of firefighter time and work in another federal office for five years. Would I still qualify for an immediate annuity once I have a total of 25 years in federal service even though 20 were as a DoD firefighter and five were inside another federal agency in a regular FERS-covered position?

A. No, you wouldn’t. You’d need to have 25 years of actual years of firefighter service to retire at any age. If you leave your covered position now, the earliest you could retire and receive the enhanced annuity benefit for those 20 years would be when you reach age 50.


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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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