Retirement with less than 20 years


Q: I am 58 with 16 years of federal service (FERS). I retired from the Army with more than 20 years of service. I am concerned that there would be significant penalties for retiring at my age and years of service. What are some of the factors and risks that I should consider if I decide to retire in 2012? What are the advantages of waiting until I have 20 years of service before retiring?

A: Because you’ve reached your minimum retirement age, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision. If you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you are under age 62, unless you postponed the receipt of your annuity until a later date. By waiting until you had 20 years of service or reached age 62, whichever came first, you could retire on an immediate unreduced annuity.


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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

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