Federal Employees News Digest

Federal Benefits Q&A

Question:  I'm a FERS DOD employee with 23 years of service which includes buying back military time of three years. I'm currently 44 and really considering of deferring my retirement, but very confused on my options. Can I retire with 25 years at the age of 50 and immediately collect benefits? Or do I need to wait to have 30 years and wait until MRA at age 57?

Answer: Unless there is an early retirement opportunity (a VERA or a VSIP) at your agency, you will not be able to retire at age 50. According to what you have stated, at age 50 you will 29 years of service. The earliest you could retire would be at your MRA of age 57 at which time you would have 36 years of service. If you leave Federal service before reaching 30 years of service, then you would be eligible for a deferred retirement starting at age 60. If you leave Federal service with 30 years of service when you are age 51, then you would be eligible for a deferred retirement starting the month you become MRA.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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