Retirement and FERS annuity


Q. I think I joined the federal workforce way too early. According to my service computation date, I will have reached 30 years on Aug. 8, 2018 — mere days after I turn 49 — and I’m guessing my earliest possible retirement date will be Dec. 31, 2018. Of course, this is all information I have gleaned from my research. My somewhat pessimistic guess is something will change that retirement date between now and then and kick it down the road beyond Dec. 31, 2018. What do you think?

A. Because you have at least 25 years of service, your earliest possible retirement date would be now, but only if your agency were to offer you that opportunity under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. If you weren’t offered a VERA, your earliest retirement date would be when you reach your minimum retirement age, which would be 57 and 10 months.

As a FERS employee, your annuity would be calculated using the following formula:

.01 x your high-3 x all years and full months of service

The more service you have, the greater the amount of your annuity. There’s no reason to believe that the rules for determining an employee’s eligibility to retire and the computation of his annuity will change between now and the time you retire.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    In order to retire under FERS Voluntary Retirement, the applicant must be their Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) with 30 or more years of service. MRA for those born in 1969 or later is age 57, not age 57 and 10 months.

    • So, instead of a VERA, my only option to “get out early” would be a VSIP?
      When and how are the availability of these things (VSIP’s) made known to those that might want to partake and what is the application process; if there is one?

      • In my experience, VSIPs are only offered in conjunction with VERAs. There is no application process. You’ll know if you’re agency offers you one or both.

    • Using your math, I won’t be able to retire until June 2026! That’s 8 years [longer] than what I’ve already been told. At the rate things are going, by the time I retire I’ll be too old to do [anything else].
      Here I was thinking, ‘Just make it to 30 years; put in 30, [then] you can retire while you’re still young enough to do something else.’ There are other factors involved in my hope that I could “get out” between now and 2018, that I won’t go into [here].

      • Unless you are offered a VERA, you only have two sensible choices: 1) wait until you reach your MRA or 2) resign and apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. In the latter case, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs.

        • I’ll have 30 years with Civil Service in October 2018. As Scott Davis stated, I wouldn’t be able to retire until [June 2019]. At [that] point, I might as well stay until October and put in the extra 4 months. (Won’t happen BTW)

          There are other…..I’ll say “familial components” involved in my wanting to go [sooner rather than later].

          If there is no VSIP/VERA between now and then, I might just resign after I’ve put in my 30 years, and apply for a deferred annuity @ 60. (13 years from now) whether I’m shooting myself in the foot [or not].
          [I did] previously mention that I joined C.S. too early. I [knew it] when I signed on.

        • My MRA is something like 57 yrs. 10 months. Scott Davis mentioned that. I get it.

          Say I resign, after 8AUG2018; the exact date I will have completed 30 years; I will have [just] turned 49; and I later apply for a deferred annuity @ 60, I already know I won’t get a whole lot; this due to my pay grade.
          I know I’ll have to find a job after I resign, retire; whichever would allow me to move on, closer to 2018; vice [2026].

          If the partial statement ‘… for [all] Americans’ is true; regardless of which U.S. President makes this statement, I should be able to acquire health insurance either through any future employer(s) or [on my own].

          Reg, if this was a non-publicized column, I could better explain things.
          Is there a way you and I could “discuss” this? If not, I understand.

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