Annuity benefit


Q. I am 52 years old. Before coming to work for the government, I was in the Navy for six years and received an honorable discharge. I am leaving a 27-year career and going into the ministry. Am I eligible for any retirement benefits?

A. If you made a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service, you would be entitled to an annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56 years and 2 months. If you didn’t make a deposit, you’d be eligible for one at age 60. Note: To be eligible for an annuity at either point in time, you’d have to leave your retirement contributions in the retirement fund instead of asking for a refund.


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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

    The response is not totally correct. If you made the deposit you could collect your pension WITHOUT A REDUCTION at your Minimum Retirement Age. Health insurance, life insurance and credit for sick leave is not available with a deferred retirement. If you did not make the military deposit, you could still collect at your MRA with an age penalty equal to 5% for every year you are under the age of 62. This is a permanent penalty for life. You could continue to defer until age 60 to avoid the age penalty, but again no health insurance, life insurance or credit for sick leave. Here is the link on deferred retirements. Beginning on page 10 is the FERS information, with specific information on the age penalty beginning on page 13.

  2. Karen Mamalakis on

    The best thing to do is Call HR… NOT just LEAVE your retirement. I left the Navy and bought back my entire 15 years within the first 36 months as NOT to accrue interest. It’s too late if you have NOT bought it by now. The interest would cost you more than what it is worth at this point in time. Good Luck!!

  3. Good morning! Sir,
    I’m in lower grade GS, do you think it is beneficial to my annuity to credit or pay deposit to my non-citizen service abroad. Would they allow me the minimum deposit (employment before Oct.1982)? Thanks

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