Pensions and resignation


Q. I have worked 33 years in health care. My agency is asking me to resign. Does this affect my pension?

A. No, it won’t. If you are already old enough to retire on an immediate annuity, you can do that instead of resigning. If you aren’t old enough to retire on an immediate annuity, you can refuse to resign and let them fire you. If they do, because you have at least 25 years of service you can apply for a discontinued service retirement. Under either scenario, you’ll be able to continue your health and life insurance coverage.


About Author

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


  1. Don’t resign! You will lose your health insurance and life insurance, and not be able to get them back. Yes, you will be able to get a pension at some point, as stated above. But if you are age 56 or 57, tell them you will retire but not resign.

  2. Yes whatever you do DO NOT RESIGN!!! Really surprised your HR department and/or management did NOT notify you, given your 33 years of service, of your FERS retirement eligibility and give you an option to retire either immediately If old enough or for discontinued service. They dropped the ball.

    With your 33 years of service you can retire with an immediate, unreduced FERS annuity with 30+ years at your minimum retirement age (MRA) which would be either age 56-57 depending on when you were born.

    If you are age 56 or older now you should inform the HR department of your agency that you will retire immediately in lieu of resigning.

    Like Reg stated, if you have not reached your MRA, you have enough service time to qualify for a discontinued service FERS Retirement annuity. Let them fire or lay you off when your position is eliminated. They should actually be assisting you in getting your retirement application processed, either for immediate or for discontinued service retirement!

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