Special retirement eligibility


Q. I am currently 43 years of age and I am a DoD firefighter with 20 years and 2 months of service under the FERS special retirement. I plan to move to another FERS position that is not covered under the FERS special retirement. I want to work in this position until I reach age 50. Since I have 20 years of service in the special retirement, could I still retire under special retirement once I reach age 50 even though I won’t be in a FERS special retirement position when I turn 50?

A. Yes.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Do your 20 years in a covered position have to be consecutive or can you move in and out of covered positions as long as you get a total of 20 by 50 yrs of age?

    • As a rule they don’t have to be consecutive; however, your agency will have to determine if the periods when you were employed meet the definition of covered service.

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