Federal Employee Retirement Eligibility by Kevin Wirth

Kevin D Wirth

Kevin Wirth explains retirement eligibility for Federal Employees

Kevin D Wirth Kevin D. Wirth – Retirement Expert

For many people, “saving for the future” means just exactly that – setting money aside for “some day.” But as the years clip by, it becomes more important to have an actual plan for retirement, and a big part of that plan includes knowing the time when you can actually separate from employment service.

If you are a federal employee, the good news is that your retirement program makes it somewhat easier to track when you can retire. For example, retirement eligibility is determined by your age, as well as the years of service that you have put in.

In many instances, employees can retire and receive an immediate retirement benefit. This refers to a benefit that begins within 30 days from the date that he or she stops working. Provided that the employee meets one of the following criteria, they would be entitled to an immediate retirement benefit:

  • Age 62 with 5 years of service
  • Age 60 with 20 years of service

In some cases, you may also be required to have reached the MRA, or Minimum Retirement Age, in order to receive an immediate retirement benefit. Upon meeting the MRA, you may be required to either have 10 or 30 years of service, depending on your circumstances.

The following chart outlines what your MRA would be, based upon your year of birth:

If you were born: Your MRA is:
Before 1948 55
In 1948 55 and 2 months
In 1949 55 and 4 months
In 1950 55 and 6 months
In 1951 55 and 8 months
In 1952 55 and 10 months
In 1953 – 1964 56
In 1965 56 and 2 months
In 1966 56 and 4 months
In 1967 56 and 6 months
In 1968 56 and 8 months
In 1969 56 and 10 months
In 1970 and after 57

Source: OPM.gov

A federal employee may also be eligible for early retirement. This could be the case in the situation of an involuntary separation from service, as well as in the case of a voluntary separation such as for a reduction in the workforce or during a major reorganization.

In order to be eligible for retirement in these types of situations, an employee must either be age 50 and have put in at least 20 years of service, or be any age and have put in a minimum of 25 years of service.

When Will Your Benefits Begin?

Are far as benefits beginning, it is important to be mindful of the actual date that you retire, as well as the date that you legally attain a certain age. For example, a person actually legally becomes a given age on the day prior to his or her date of birth.1 This can be significant when choosing the date of retirement, as it could make the difference between your annuity benefits beginning the month of separation from service, or the month following.

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  1. FEDweek (http://www.fedweek.com/reg-jones-experts-view/the-first-day-you-can-retire/)

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