Q. I am looking at retiring in about a year. At that time, I will be 53 with 26 years of 6(c) coverage under FERS. I know I can retire right now, but will I be penalized for not waiting until I am 57 (mandatory retirement age)? Also, I understand I can earn as much as I can after retirement, but until what age? I had an officer tell me it was 57 and another said it was 62, the age when regular Social Security benefits are paid. I also believe that the Social Security benefits at 62 would be reduced but by how much?
A. You can retire at any age when you have 25 years of 6(c) service. And you can receive the special retirement supplement from the day you retire until age 62. You can also earn as much as you want until you reach your minimum retirement age. Once you reach your MRA, you’ll be subject to the annual Social Security earnings limit, which would reduce your benefit by $2 for every $3 above the limit. In 2013, that limit is $15,120.