Q. I am a federal air technician with the Air National Guard. I have 34 years in the Guard and 27 years as a federal full-time technician. I am in FERS and have a minimum retirement age of 56. I will be 53 this year.
It has been communicated to me that I will probably not be retained this year, meaning that Dec. 31, 2014, I will be involuntarily retired, thus losing my full (technician) and part-time (traditional Guard) employment. When can I begin collecting my retirement pay, Social Security, Thrift Savings Plan? Are there any penalties if I was forced to retire?
A. Reg: Because you have enough years and civilian service (50 and 20), you’d be able to retire immediately and receive a discontinued service annuity. When you reach your minimum retirement age, you would also be entitled to the special retirement supplement, which approximates the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. Once you began receivng it, the SRS would continue to be paid until you reach age 62 and are eligible for a Social Security benefit.
Mike: You may begin collecting your TSP money as soon as you retire.