Medical retirement


Q. I was told by Customs and Border Protection that I could still get a medical retirement even though I have more than 30 years of service. When I go to the Employee Benefits Information System, it says I can’t apply for medical retirement because I have more than 30 years.

A. Years of service have nothing to do with it. If an employee has at least 18 months of creditable service, there are only two situations in which he’d be unable to receive a disability annuity: First, whether he is covered by CSRS or FERS,  if he is eligible for regular, unreduced immediate retirement. Second, if he is a FERS employee who is age 62 or older, his annuity would be computed using the standard FERS formula. If he is a CSRS employee, he can apply for disability retirement and, if approved, begin collecting a disability annuity. However, if he is 60 years old or older or has 22 or more years of service, his disability benefit would the same as his earned retirement benefit.


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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