Retirement versus resignation


Q. I am 50 years of age with 26 years of experience under FERS with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I’ve been offered a job that far exceeds the one I’m currently at but would have to leave the agency. Is that possible with my time in and age limit? Can I file for retirement now? I’ve been told I could, but is resignation another option? From reading, doesn’t look good. If there is a better option, I’m all ears. Just want to be educated and not go in the wrong direction.

A. If you’ve served as a law enforcement office for 20 years and are 50 years old, you can retire any time you want to. However, if you retire and take the higher paying position, your salary will be offset by the amount of your annuity. Instead of retiring, it would make more sense to simply accept the higher paying position. Then, when you do retire, your annuity will be based on the high-3 in your new position. The more generous formula will be used to compute your 20 years as a law enforcement officer, with the remaining years computed using the standard formula..


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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


    • We can only answer questions about federal employee benefits, not those employees working in state or local governments not those in the private sector.

      • So along these same lines of thought. If an individual chooses to retire from a position under FERS and then wants to work part time as a (Non-Appropriated Funds) NAF employee, would the salary for the NAF position be offset by the FERS annuity amount?

        • Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the NAF system, so I can’t answer your question. If any of the readers who use this site know the answer, please send it in and I’ll share it with the rest of you.

  1. What about if I/m an Air Reserve Technician (ART) or Military Reserve Technician, and is 50 of age and has more than 28 years of service,.. Would I be able to retire on an unreduced pension? Thank you much! Awesome and VERY informative blog.

    • No, you wouldn’t. The age and service requirements for ARTs are the same as for any employee who isn’t a law enforcement officer, firefighter or foreign service officer.

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