Retiring before MRA


Q. Can I retire from the Veterans Affairs hospital under FERS at age 55 with 25 years of service and withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan in lump sum? Or do I have to wait until my minimum retirement age? Can I leave at 55 and defer my retirement until I reach my MRA at 56?

A. Reg Jones says: You can’t retire until you reach your MRA, which is 56. If you retired then, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 60 (5/12 of a percentage point per year). You could delay the receipt of your annuity to a later date to reduce or eliminate the age penalty.

Mike Miles says: You may withdraw your TSP funds in a lump sum following your 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

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