Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Five-year rule

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Q. In the 2012 Federal Retirement Handbook, it states that if you meet the following age and service requirements — age 62 and five years — you are entitled to an immediate retirement benefit.

I will be 65 years old in May, so I already meet the first requirement. In June, I will have been a federal civilian employee for two years. However, I have 12.3 years of Air Force (1971 to 1984) service, and I plan to make the required deposit so the 12.3 years becomes part of my federal creditable service. Therefore, in June, I will have 14.3 years of creditable service. Does this mean I will be eligible to retire as soon as the Air Force years become part of my creditable service (since it’s more than five years)?

Said another way, is there a requirement that you need to be a federal civilian employee for five years before you are eligible to retire? I have not been able to find anything in FERS documents or government website that stipulates this requirement. All years are typically referred to as creditable service so that includes my Air Force time.

A. You have to have five years of actual FERS service to be eligible to retire. Active-duty service for which you have made a deposit can’t be used to meet that requirement.

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Comments

  1. Rob Says:
    March 25th, 2013 at 11:53 am

    This information is quaoted from the AFPC link
    https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/23720

    “To qualify for a Voluntary Optional (immediate, unreduced) retirement, you must meet the age and service requirements. At least five years of the total creditable service must be civilian service. and must be covered by Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) on the day of separation.”

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