Minimum service for FERS retirement


Q. I have two years of FERS employment and have two more years on a term employment. I am retired military. I am a service academy graduate and bought back those four years. My understanding is that I must have at least five years of actual FERS employment to retire.

Must I have at least three more years of FERS employment (for a total of five) to get a FERS retirement? If I had five years’ FERS plus the four years I bought back, could I apply for retirement at age 62 with nine years of service? Alternately, could I work six years total with FERS and then have 10 years total (with the four years I bought back) and retire at MRA+10, instead of 62?

A. You have to have five years of actual FERS service to be eligible for a retirement benefit. Any employee who has at least five years of service can retire at age 62 and receive an unreduced annuity. Any employee who is less than age 62 and has at least 10 years of service (for example, five years actual employment plus active-duty service for which a deposit has been made) can retire under the MRA+10 provision. However, that annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) he was younger than 62.


About Author

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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