By Reg Jones
Q. I am a FERS employee with 24 years of service; I am 49. I started at the IRS in May 1987, and my birthday is in October 1962. My agency may offer an early out very shortly. However, it appears I miss the 20 years/age 50 or the 25 years/any age requirement by less than one year. Is there any way I can take the early out if offered and pay the 5-percent penalty in order to qualify for the early out, and get an immediate annuity? If yes, would I still get my health insurance? Or am I totally out of luck at this time?
A: You are totally out of luck. Because you will have fewer than 20 years of service, you aren’t eligible for early retirement.
February 6th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
Hang in there! In my experience, a long lead time exists from the rumors of a buy-out until OPM actually approves it. It then takes a few more months for an agency to implement. The “open season” for eligible employees to opt for early retirement usually runs about 2-3 months after that. If you have heard “may offer very shortly”, it is likely that IF it happens, you will have reached or crossed the earliest date that matters, May 2012, which would make you eligible based on 25 years of service.