“I was an Air traffic controller for 17 years and 3 mos. I recently lost my medical and I’m not a permanent staff support specialist. My retirement plan is showing FERS and FICA. My question is: would I be allowed to retire at 57 and receive my benefits including social security or would I have to wait til I’m 62?
Here are the rules governing retirement eligibility for FERS employees:
Age 62 with 5 years of service
Age 60 with 20 years of service
At your minimum retirement age with 30 years of service
(MRAs range between 55 to 57, depending on your year of birth)
You could also retire at your MRA with between 10 and 29 years of service under the MRA+10 provision. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percenr per month) that you were under age 62 when you retired.
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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.