Involuntary separation and pay


Q. I’m 49, with 26 years in the NAF retirement program. I won’t be accepting a transfer of function outside my commuting area, so I’ll be involuntary separated. Based on everything I’ve read in AR215-3 3-25, I should be eligible for both discontinued service retirement and severance pay.

Severance pay would be authorized in my case since my immediate annuity will be reduced 12 percent based on my age (2 percent for every year I’m away from 55).

I’m now hearing that the following paragraph would prevent me from receiving severance pay: AR215-3 3-25 h. “Exclusions from severance pay. Severance pay will not be paid when the employee — (4) Is entitled to an immediate annuity that is not reduced because of the employee’s age at the time of retirement.”

Is this correct, or will I be authorized both DSR and Severance pay?

A. What you read in AR215-3 3-25h is correct. Because you’ll be entitled to an immediate annuity, you won’t be eligible for severance pay.


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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


  1. I am a fers employee age 53 with 24 years of accredited service, I have been told orally by my supervisor that I should update my resume and look for other opportunities. If I am severed from my employment will I be elgible for involuntary retirement and will I receive supplemental bridge compensation until I reach the minimum SS age of 62 ? My performance evaluations have all been satifactory, but I would be willing to take an involuntary retirement. I am also assuming I would still be elgible for health care benefits under an involuntary retirement.

    • Yes, you would be eligible for a discontinued service retirement. You wouldn’t be entitled to the special retirement supplement until you reach your minimum retirement age, which would be 56. As long as you’ve been enrolled in the FEHB program for the 5 continuous years before you retire, you’d be able to continue that coverage in retirement.

  2. I am a Federal employee with 31 years of service (52 years old) and looking at possible termination due to new conditions of employment in which I am not willing to do. So the separation would come 4.5 years before my minimum age requirement for retirement. If I take a severance package at termination can I still retire at the minimum age in 4.5 years? OR Is there a particular amount of time you have to wait if taking a severance package?

    • If you are involuntarily separated, you may be eligible for early retirement. You’ll have to check with your personnel office to find out if you qualify. (The age and service requirements for early retirement are age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25.) If you don’t meet that requirement, because you have at least 30 years of service you could apply for an unreduced annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age (MRA). Alternatively, you could retire immediately under the MRA+10 provision; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) you were under age 60.

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