Retiring at 30 years with FERS


Q. I am a FERS employee with 22 years of service. I will have 30 years of service in eight more years and will also be 50. Can I retire with 30 years of service and collect (i.e., request an early retirement package)? I’ve read the deferred retirement, but my understanding is I would not be able to receive a pension until my MRA, 57.

A. Unless you have reached your minimum retirement age, you can’t retire when you have 30 years of service. All you can do is resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at your MRA. The downside of that decision is this: You wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs when your annuity began. As for requesting an early retirement package, you can do that; however, your agency can consider it only if the agency have gotten approval to offer early retirement to its employees, and then only if the positions identified include yours.


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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. Hello.

    I am 52 years old and my SCD is 10/20/1990. In 5 years I will reach my MRA and have 35 years of service.

    I have 4 1/2 years of active duty time in those 35 years. Is it worth buying back those years of military service ? I am currently a GS 9, step 10.

    • Only you can answer that question. Start by finding out how much making a deposit for that time will cost you. To do that, you’ll have to complete a copy of form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to your military finance center with a copy of your DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. Take their reply and a copy of your DD-214 and a Standard Form 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment, to your local payroll office and ask for an estimate of the amount you would need to pay, including accrued interest. They can either arrange a payment schedule or you can deposit the amount in a lump sum. The RI and Standard Forms needed to do that can be downloaded at, click on Forms. Once you know how much it will cost you to make the deposit, you can compare it with the 4.5 percent increase in your annuity you’d get if you made that deposit and make a decision.

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