“I have a question regarding the 10% FERS Bonus. My birthday falls on December 1st, and I’ve heard and hope it’s true that if I retire on November 30th during the year I turn 62 that I’ll still receive the 10% bonus? My understanding is that I’ll start my retirement on my 62nd birthday which would qualify me for the bonus. My fear is retiring one day too early and losing that 10% for life. It would also annoy me to retire on the 1st only to not go into pay status until the 1st of January.
The law and regulations say that your FERS annuity would be increased from 1 percent to 1.1 percent if you are at least age 62 and have at least 20 years of service when you retire. Therefore, if the commencing date of your annuity is on your 62nd birthday, you should be entitled to the increased retirement benefit. However, as you noted, your wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until January 1. To avoid any possibility of an age glitch and have your annuity begin immediately, you might want to retire instead on December 31.
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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.