Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Minimum retirement age

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Q. I been a federal employee of 17 years now. I started my career at the age of 24 . At what age can I retired in order to receive my federal pension? Read the rest of this entry »

DSR and annuity supplement

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Q. I received a Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR) from my agency in 2011 at age 53 with over 20 years of federal service (FERS). I receive an unreduced annuity. I have now reached my MRA of age 56. I believe I now should be able to receive the annuity supplement, but the Office of Personnel Management has not yet begun paying it to me. FERS Handbook Chapter 51 indicates to me that I am indeed eligible for the supplement. I noticed that, in your response to a similar question, you stated that the questioner retired under the MRA+10 provisions and was therefore not eligible for the annuity. What provision in the rules am I missing here?

A. You aren’t missing anything. Since you have reached your MRA, you are entitled to receive the special retirement supplement. If it doesn’t show up in your next annuity payment, call OPM at 1-888-767-6738 and talk to one of their benefits specialists.

Retire before reaching MRA?

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Q. I plan on retiring Dec.1, 2014, with 35 years of service under FERS. I reach my minimum retirement age on Dec.23, 2014. Will I be penalized in any way by leaving service 22 days before my MRA?  Read the rest of this entry »

Minimum retirement age stipulations

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Q. I got out of the Coast Guard (honorable discharge if that matters) with 14 years of active-duty service. I worked for the Transportation Security Administration for eight months before settling into a position with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where I bought my military time back. Can I combine my military time with my federal time to meet my minimum retirement age?  Read the rest of this entry »

FERS supplement after MRA

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Q. I retired at 52 under FERS as a law enforcement agent after 27 years of federal service. I immediately began my second career working outside federal government.  My monthly annuity includes the FERS supplement. I reached my minimum retirement age of 56 last month, but the supplement is still included in my monthly annuity.  I make more than the “needs tested” amount annually but am still receiving the FERS supplement.

Should the FERS Supplement disappear the month following your MRA birth month? Is it removed by OPM automatically, or does OPM continue to pay the supplement? How exactly is the FERS supplement needs tested? Is it incumbent upon me to notify OPM? How does this work? I don’t want to collect the payment if I’m not eligible, and I certainly don’t want to be surprised with a bill from OPM for these payments at the end of the year.  Read the rest of this entry »

Retiring under MRA

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Q. I am 52 with 31 years of FERS service. If I retire now, would I still get the special retirement supplement when I turn 56?  Or is that only if I were offered a voluntary retirement?  Can I get my retirement now? What is the penalty given my age and years of service? Read the rest of this entry »

Disability and deferred retirement

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Q. I am a FERS employee with the Defense Logistics Agency and have 22 years of service. I turn 50 on Sept. 30. I am considering deferred retirement when I turn 50. What penalties would be applied if my minimum retirement age is 56? I am 100 percent  VA disabled total permanent, but not sure I want to go through another disability battle with OPM. Read the rest of this entry »

Air Reserve technicians

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Q. Are Air Reserve Technicians in the same group as law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers when it comes to retirement? I am 52 years old with 30-plus years of service. Can I retire now and receive the supplement immediately or will I not receive it until my minimum retirement age which is 56? Read the rest of this entry »

FERS retirement

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Q. I am FERS with a minimum retirement age of 56. I resigned from the government last year at age 50 with 25 years of government service. I am now 51 years old. Can I get a reduced FERS annuity right now with a five percent reduction for each year that I am under age 62?

If the answer is no, what is the minimum age at which I can begin to receive FERS retirement benefits. And what percent of my high-3 would I receive?
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MRA health benefits

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Q. I am a reinstated federal employee with the Bureau of Prisons who is 59 years old and has 15 years of service time. I want to retire under the minimum retirement age and understand there is a five percent penalty for every year under the age of 62. But, am I able to keep my federal health insurance until I reach age 65?
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FERS retirement multiplier

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Q. A recent post stated you can receive your FERS retirement benefits calculated at the rate of .011 with 20 years of service at age 62. Does this benefit rate of 1.1, apply if you resigned your employment before the minimum retirement age, have more than 20 years of service and elect to receive a deferred retirement at age 62? At age 60, benefits are calculated at .01. Is there a choice? Read the rest of this entry »

Deferred retirement at 31 years of service

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Q. I have 31 years of federal service at age 50: 27 Civil Service and 4 military which I bought back. Do I wait to fill out my retirement paperwork near my minimum retirement age, or do I fill that out at the time I resign? I read that because I have five point preference that my reinstatement rights don’t have a three year time limit? If I resign and then apply for a federal job and get hired at age 55, work one year and then retire at my MRA of 56, would I be eligible for the Social Security Supplement? Can I leave my Thrift Savings Plan money where it is and not transfer it to an IRA? Read the rest of this entry »

Law enforcement retirement

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Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer and currently have 22 years of service. I’ll turn 46 in March of this year. I also have five years of Marine Corps time that I was active duty.

I understand the rule that I can retire at any age with 25 years of creditable service or retire at age 50 with 20 years of service. I will fall into the 25 year rule, since I will be less that 50 when I am eligible. I know I am supposed to get a Social Security bridge when I retire until my regular Social Security age. I am not sure if that age is 57, mandatory retirement for LE or is it 62, 70 or some other number.

I am also confused about the amount of money I can earn, such as through consulting work or private business, when I retire and still maintain my supplement.

I am also confused that if I leave my current law enforcement job with 22 years and start working for another federal agency will I be mandated to retire at 57? When I do retire, will my computation be a law enforcement computation or a regular federal employee computation?
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Special retirement supplement for early retirement

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Q. I retired on Jan. 31, 2014, under an offer of early retirement and will not reach my minimum retirement age until August 2014. Can I apply for special supplement income prior to my MRA knowing it takes time to process or do I have to actually wait until I reach 56 years of age?
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FERS retirement

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Q. This is a two part question. I’m a FERS employee with a minimum retirement age of 56 1/2.
I would like to retire at my MRA if possible but want to make sure I understand the penalties and rules. First, I will be about 1 1/2 years short of 30 years with the government at age 56 1/2. It’s my understanding that I can still retire at that age but can postpone receiving an annuity to avoid the 5 percent per year penalty if I don’t take benefits until age 60. Is this correct?

Second, if I decide to postpone taking the annuity until age 60, I won’t be eligible to receive health care benefits until that time. I would need to find alternative health care during that gap between age 56 1/2 and 60. But would I be able to re-enroll again at age 60 with no issues?
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Retire from law enforcement at 48

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Q. I am currently employed with the Bureau of Prisons,and in three years, I will have 20 years law enforcement time. But I will only be 48 years old. Can I just retire from the BOP in three years with total of 20 years law enforcement at age 48? I’d wait until I am 50 years old and start collecting my retirement. From age 48 – 50 I plan just to work at Wal-mart or a grocery store. I also bought back 6 years of my military. Read the rest of this entry »

Retiring before MRA

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Q. I have 25 years of service in the federal government, and I’m 48 years old.

If I leave government service now, when would I receive my pension if I take a deferred annuity.  If I start at the minimum retirement age, would there be a reduction for every year I’m under age of 62? What if I wait and leave federal service at age 53 with 30 years of service? Would there still be a reduction in pension if I began receiving my pension at the minimum retirement age, even with 30 years of service?

Also, at what age can I do a one time withdrawal from my Thrift Savings Plan without paying a penalty, and if I want monthly TSP payments, what age can I start without paying a penalty if I left government service before the MRA?

I know there are repercussions to leaving government service before the MRA, and would like to know what they are, since I am really slowing down with health related issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Disability and retirement

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Q. I am 50 years old. I did six years active duty which I have not paid back to get credit, and I have 24 years civil service.  I had a heart  attack two years ago. I have a stint and  defibrillator, but I am able to  work.  There is no way my boss would give me a positive disability letter. I have a little different outlook on life now. I’d like to travel, etc.  Luckily, I have a few hundred thousand in my Thrift Savings Plan. What are my retirement options, if any, right now?  I know I have no leave and need to somehow buy back my military time.  Is it even possible to retire?  If I could even get disability, would buying back my military time add to my retirement? Read the rest of this entry »

Calculating deferred annuity payments

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Q. I worked for  the  USPS from 1989 – 1999 as a full time Clerk.   Will I get a retirement pension of benefit in the future?  When it will be and  how much monthly payment I can get? Read the rest of this entry »

Retirement during a RIF

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Q. I noticed you can retire during a reduction in force at below the minimum retirement age with 25 years of service. However, I’ve also read that those people are not entitled to the special retirement supplement since they are below MRA. Can they be paid the supplement once they reach MRA, even though previously retired?

Read the rest of this entry »