“I am a FERS employee and I will soon be 19 years at my civilian government agency. I am around 47 years old. What are my retirement options? How many more years until I will be eligible for retirement? What would be the smartest retirement strategy?”
If you leave government with at least 5 but fewer than 20 years of service, you could apply for a deferred retirement benefit at age 62. If you had at least 20 years of service, you could apply for a deferred retirement benefit at age 60. In either case, your annuity would be based on your years of service and your high-3 on the day you left government. Any unused sick leave you had to your credit when you left would not be used in the computation of your annuity.
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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.