Mandatory retirement and Social Security


Q. I’m retiring soon at the mandatory age for firefighters at 57 years old after 30 years of service. I understand the Social Security Administration supplement will be paid out until age 62. Can the supplement continue past 62 if I choose to wait to elect collecting Social Security until age 67, the full-retirement age? I’m staying at the fire department until the last possible day before the mandatory age requirement kicks in, but I’m concerned of a potential five-year gap and/or not receiving the supplement between ages 62-67. If the supplement stops entirely at 62, then I’d feel a bit of age discrimination, as my position doesn’t allow me to work past 57. Might there be a possible reduced supplement for that gap time?

A. Yes, your special retirement supplement will be paid until age 62. No, it cannot continue beyond age 62. At that time you’ll be eligible for a Social Security benefit based on your total years of Social Security employment. Whether you apply for that benefit at age 62 or wait until you are eligible for a higher Social Security benefit is entirely up to you.


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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