Retirement benefit


Q. I was forced to take a FERS Disability Retirement and was approved, but the Office of Personnel Management put me on regular earned rate retirement because I bought back my military time which then gave me 20 years of federal time and I just turned 60 years old. Should OPM not have counted my military buyback until age 62 when I would have converted over to regular retirement? I thought I would be getting 60 percent of my high-3 the first year then 40 percent the second year then go into retirement with 1.1 percent of my high-3.

A. OPM was right. Because you were 60 years old and had 20 years of creditable service, you were entitled to an immediate retirement benefit.


About Author

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


  1. So this means if you are under between your MRA – age 62 and eligible for immediate, full retirement (MRA with 30+years service/Age 60 with 20+ years), that you are in essence NOT eligible for FERS Disability Retirement and instead have to leave via regular FERS retirement if you are medically no longer able to work?

    If this is the case could you still apply for Social Security Disability and if approved allowed to keep 100% of both your FERS Retirement and SSDI instead of surrendering a big part of your FERS Disability if you also get approved for SSDI?


  2. Christy Soria on

    I am still work under a workers comp claim. I meet the rule of 80 and wanting to retire under disability retirement. Should I try retiring under workers comp and leave my retirement money alone for now?

    • It’s entirely up to you. However, unless your retirement benefit would be greater, it would make sense to continue under workers comp.

  3. So if you retire on disability at 57 when you reach 62 you convert to regular FERS retirement and keep 100% of SSDI?

  4. Please help me. I entered Federal Civil Service in 1982, stayed in for 7 years, left the federal government. Went back in 1992 during the time that the HR Specialists field had an extremely large turnover and most HR Specialists were inexperienced. I was forced to take FERS rather than go back to CSRS or CSRS Off-Set; even though I requested to be placed back in CSRS.

    Who or what do I need to do to get this back?

    Please call me at (405) 476-6854

  5. If a 55 year old postal employee is being fired because of “misconduct” (willful misuse of a postal vehicle), is he still entitled to his pension. Is he eligible for DSR if he meets the requirements? He was in the military 9 years and has worked for the post office for 25 years. He has been off from work since the incident which was about 1 year ago, but he has still been getting his regular paychecks.

  6. I started NAF employment in 1992 then transferred to a WG civil Service position (with no break in service between NAF and WG) in 2000, i am now a GS-11 employee and i bought back 8 years of Active Duty Military time. I am 56 years old now which is my minimum retirement age. Does my NAF time count ???? AFPC informed me that i only qualify for MRA+10 with an annuity of $287.00 per month!!! I think they are missing something here!!!

    • Under Public Law 107-107, NAF service for which you’ve made a deposit must be included when determining your total years of service. It just can’t be used in the computation of your annuity. You’ll need to follow up with your personnel office.

  7. Randall L Bowman on

    I have been approved for disability retirement by OPM, I was injured in a combat incident while serving in the military. I have worked for the USPS for 24.3 years, I bought back my military time. My physical injuries I recieved overseas in the military have progressed and deteriorated during my Postal career. My VA doctor told me I had to stop working. My last day to physically work was DEC 23, 2017. I used up my annual leave. as well as my sick leave. I served for 2 yrs, 5 months, 6 months in a military hospital. I filled for SSDI, and go before the Judge on my appeal July 19, 2019. Being approved for OPM disability retirement, will that help with my SSDI claim? I have also put in for the VA, to go from 70% to 100%. With all this said, what should I expect to receive from all 3? I have a family of 9, myself and wife, with 7 kids; OPM took on 3 months. I also started a congressional, on all three agencies, with a US congressman, Senator and our Vice President. Each are monitoring my claims status, and I receive letters everytime there is movement on my case. Thank you for any knowledge you provide. I am 54 this coming Sat.

    • We cannot comment on on-going cases. However, I can tell you that the criteria for civil service disability retirement and SSDI are starkly different. To be approved for disability retirement, you only need to be unable to perform the work of your current position or one for which you are qualified at the same grade or pay level. To be approved for SSDI, you must be incapable of any gainful employment.

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