Minimum retirement age


Q. I am 52 years old with 30 years of federal service under FERS. How can I retire?

A. If you mean retire now, you can’t. You’ll have to wait until you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56 years and 2 months. Alternatively, you could resign now and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your MRA. However, when you applied for that annuity, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs.


About Author

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


  1. I work for the postal service. What’s with the two months? I thought it was just 56 years of age to retire. By that time I will have 31 years in. I thought you had to work to the end of the month of your MRA.

    • If your birth year falls between 1953 and 1964, you can retire when you are 56. If you were born in 1965, you can retire at 56 and 2 months.

    • True if the illness meets the criteria. The employee must have become disabled for useful and efficient service in both his current position and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level for which he is qualified.

  2. Robert, Reg,, I am currently filing for Disability Retirement due to a congenital “anomaly” for lack of a better term, which has resulted in a specific disorder which did not present until 1993. Since then, I have had difficulties, both physically and administratively. Through research I have found that both health issues; separately; or in my case [combined] qualify under Disability Retirement rules and regulations. The paperwork is [exhausting] because my aforementioned “congenital ‘anomaly'” is not outwardly noticeable nor is it specifically listed in SSA’s “Blue Book”; but the resulting ‘specific disorder’ [is] listed. So, justifying my application has required documentation from my doctor, who did not mince words; actually [recommending] I retire on Disability. As it applies to this post, I did experience “an event” this past May, due to my incorrectly taking my prescription; a lesson learned.
    Fingers crossed that once my paperwork goes “up the chain”, I’ll be retired in 6 months; hopefully less.

  3. If the 2018 federal budget is successful with eliminating the FERS special supplement when will it be effective, October 1, 2017 beginning of fiscal year or January 1, 2018 beginning of calendar year.

    • Since my crystal ball is broken, we’ll have to wait until the budget is introduced and then see what form it takes when it’s actually passed.

  4. I started the post office may 7 1988. I plan on retiring may 7 2018 which would give me 30 years and will be 59. Can I leave on may 7 or do i have to wait till the pay period is over?? AND, can I take 2 weeks or so of A.L before May 7 to leave earlier?? The A/L would still be counted as days of service??

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