By Reg Jones
Q. I’m a DoD employee, age 52 3/4 years with 28 1/4 years of service. My goal
is to retire when I reach 30 years of service, but I’ll still be almost two
years short of my MRA, and therein lies the rub. I’ve done a fair bit of
research, but try as I might, I cannot find an avenue for retirement before my
56th birthday that does not entail major curtailments in my benefit. If I
retire at 30 years of service, I’m hit with a 40 percent (5 percent times number of years
until 62) reduction in my annuity. I won’t be eligible for a postponed
retirement and a deferred retirement means the loss of my Federal Healthcare
Benefit and that is just not acceptable to me.
It appears that early retirement, even a few years shy of MRA, is
disincentivized to the point that most employees that did not have a medical
condition or some other life-changing event would be crazy or desperate to
retire before MRA.
Is there a way I can retire at any time between now and my 56th birthday
that does not entail major financial penalties (say 10 percent for the sake of
argument) and/or the loss of healthcare coverage?
A. No, there isn’t.