Q. I am a FERS employee and will reach my minimum retirement age, 56, soon. I am thinking of retiring and taking an immediate annuity to keep health benefits. If I went back to work for the federal government in two or three years, would the 5 percent-per-year penalty remain in force when I stopped work again, or is there a way to negate this penalty? Is it set in stone because those were the conditions under which I retired? Am I correct that this would not apply if I left under a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, even though I would be eligible for retirement?

A. If you retired under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were younger than 62. If you retired under a VERA, there would be no age reduction in your annuity. Whether you retired under the MRA+10 provision or a VERA, if you went back to work for the federal government, your annuity would remain unchanged. And, as a rule, the salary of your new position would be offset by the amount of your annuity. If you worked for at least one year, full-time, you’d be entitled to a supplemental annuity. If you worked for five or more years, when you retired again, you’d be entitled to a re-determined annuity. In other words, you’d receive an annuity based on your total years of service.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply