Retirement eligibility


Q. I’m 59 years old with 27 years of continuous service under FERS. Due to the pay freeze and a brutal commute, I would like to retire with an immediate annuity as soon as I’m eligible at age 60. The Office of Personnel Management defines an immediate annuity as “one that begins within 30 days of your separation.”  Does this mean I can retire at age 59 years, 11 months and remain eligible for an immediate, unreduced-for-age annuity?

A. No. You would have to retire no earlier than age 60 to completely avoid the age penalty. If you retire at age 59 years and 11 months, your annuity would be reduced by 5/12 of 1 percentage point.


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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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