Air Reserve Technician and special retirement supplement


Q. I am retiring with 30 years at age 56 as an Air Reserve Technician. I have been told that ARTs can make as much money as they want without affecting the special retirement supplement, because they are retired due to high year tenure. Is that true? Also, if an ART retires early, but is 56 and has 30 years in, can they make more than the $14,160 limit without losing their supplement?

A. Whoever told you that was mistaken. Only retiring law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers can receive the special retirement supplement before they reach their minimum retirement age. However, that right ends the minute they reach their MRA. Then they and everyone else who retires under FERS are subject to the Social Security earnings limit, which in 2012 is $14,640.


About Author

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


  1. An Air Reserve Technician (ART), I believe, falls under the special retirement as the retiring law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers

    • No, they don’t. The age and service requirements and annuity computation are the same as those for other federal employees. The only difference is that they may take early retirement if they are found to be unable to carry out the responsibilities of their military position. The criteria aren’t the same as the ones applied to those who are approved for disability retirement.

  2. Steve Crawford on

    I’m in the Air National Guard as a Military Reserve Tech ( Dual Status). Do you know what criteria the retention board looks at each year when they meet and discuss retaining or not retaining technicians military positions? We used to call it ” Vitalization”. I know 1 of the criteria is to show its advantageous to the unit to retain or not retain but what are any others? Thank you.

    • Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about the military side of personnel management. We’re only qualified to answer questions about civilian issues under Title %.

  3. This from the OPM website.

    Age and Service Requirements for Voluntary Retirement
    Eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements. If you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible for a voluntary immediate retirement benefit. An immediate annuity is one that begins within 30 days after your separation.

    Type of Retirement Minimum Age Minimum Service Special Requirements
    Voluntary (Optional) 62 5 None
    60 20 None
    MRA* 30 None
    MRA* 10

    Note: Annuity is reduced by 5% for each year the employee is under age 62.)

    Any age 25 You must retire under special provisions for air traffic controllers, law enforcement, firefighter or Military Reserve Technician personnel.
    50 20
    Any age 25 OPM must have determined that your agency is undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force, or transfer of function.
    50 20

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