Pay & Benefits

Retirement rules 2019

The end of the year is closing in. And some of you are still debating whether now is the time to retire. If you do decide, you need to know when you can do that. Because the rules for doing that vary for CSRS and FERS, I want to spell those out for you.

FERS rules

FERS employees can retire at age 62 with 5 years of service, 60 with 20, or at their minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30. (MRAs range between 55 and 57, depending on an employee’s year of birth.) FERS employees can also retire under the MRA+10 provision; however, if they do their annuities will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) they are under age 60.

If you are a FERS employee, you’ll have to retire no later than the last day of the month if you wants to be on the annuity roll in the following month/ For example, you’d need to leave by December 31 if you want your annuity to begin on January 1.

CSRS rules

CSRS employees can retire at age 62 with 5 years of service, 60 with 20, or 55 with 30. They can retire up to the third day of the month and still be on the annuity roll in that same month; however, each day they wait before retiring will reduce the amount of their first month’s annuity by one day. Don’t worry about months that have variable lengths. For annuity purposes, OPM divides the year into 12 30-day months. That way monthly annuity payments won’t increase or decrease based on the actual length of a particular month.

While I’ve pointed out the last day on which FERS and CSRS employees can retire and be on the annuity roll in the following month, I want to make it clear that you can retire on any day of the week you want to, even on a holiday, And you can even do that at any time during a pay period.

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