Early-out and benefits


Q. I am 40 years old and have 22 years of federal service as a FERS employee. I am eligible for retirement with 25 years/no MRA with an early-out, deferring retirement until age 57, correct? Can I keep my benefits from age 43 until 57, or at least have the benefits at 57 during retirement? I have been enrolled for 22 years.

Also, if there is no early-out offered, what is the earliest age I can retire with so many years? By the time I’m 50, I’ll have 32 years in.

A. You appear to misunderstand the rules. If you were to be offered early retirement when you had 25 years of service, you’d be eligible for an annuity, regardless of your age, and it wouldn’t be subject to the 5 percent per year age penalty because you were under age 62. Your annuity would begin immediately; and when you reached your minimum retirement age, you’d begin receiving the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while covered by FERS. Note: As long as you were enrolled in the FEHB program before your agency got the authority to offer early-outs, you’d be able to carry that coverage into retirement.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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