Q. I have been working full time for the Department of Veterans Affairs (term employee in research) for nine years and four months. We may have to move out of state for my husband’s job. Is there any benefit to delaying the move to reach 10 years of service? I was also in the Army Reserve for six years, but never active duty.

A. Because you have at least five years of service, if you didn’t ask for a refund of your contributions when you left, you could apply for an annuity at age 62. If you stayed at work until you had 10 years of service and didn’t ask for a refund, you could apply for a annuity when you reached your minimum retirement age (MRAs range from 55 to 57 depending on your year of birth). However, under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that you were under age 62.


About Author

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


  1. Bill Whitehurst on

    I am a FERS employee working for the DOD as an Air Traffic controller. I retired from the military after 20 years and I currently in my 11th year for the DOD. I just turned 58 and I am looking at possibly retiring early and want to know if I qualify the retirement supplement for air traffic controllers.

    • You’d only be eligible for the special retirement supplement if you had 20 years of actual air traffic controller service.

      • I had 13 years ATC in the military prior to retirement and now have 11 years ATC for the DOD (23 years combined ATC). I am almost complete with buying my military time back for a combined retirement + my VA disability of 30%. Does it specify for the special retirement supplement to be solely with the DOD/FAA or can the military time be combined with it?

        • Your special retirement supplement will be based solely on your actual civilian service. That’s because it’s paid out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, not the Social Security Fund.

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