Retiring before MRA


Q. I have 25 years of service in the federal government, and I’m 48 years old.

If I leave government service now, when would I receive my pension if I take a deferred annuity.  If I start at the minimum retirement age, would there be a reduction for every year I’m under age of 62? What if I wait and leave federal service at age 53 with 30 years of service? Would there still be a reduction in pension if I began receiving my pension at the minimum retirement age, even with 30 years of service?

Also, at what age can I do a one time withdrawal from my Thrift Savings Plan without paying a penalty, and if I want monthly TSP payments, what age can I start without paying a penalty if I left government service before the MRA?

I know there are repercussions to leaving government service before the MRA, and would like to know what they are, since I am really slowing down with health related issues.

A: From Reg: Because you have at least 20 years of service, you could apply for an unreduced annuity at age 60. Alternatively, you could apply at your minimum retirement age; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62.

From Mike: Regarding TSP, your MRA has nothing to do with the taxation of TSP withdrawals. If you retire before the calendar year in which you reach age 55, you’ll be subject to the early withdrawal penalty on lump sum withdrawals until you reach age 59 ½ unless you meet one of the other exceptions listed on page 7 of this notice: If you retire after that, you won’t be subject to the penalty on any withdrawals. You may avoid the early withdrawal penalty at any age by taking a series of Substantially Equal Periodic Payments as defined in IRS Code Section 72(t). There a three ways to calculate the amount of these payments and they must continue for five full years, or until you reach age 59 ½, if longer. See the FAQ at for more information.


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