“I am a federal employee who spent 20 years active duty in the Navy and I retired in 2008. I got hired as a federal government civilian in July 2008. This past year, I bought my military time back via a military deposit that is paid in full. I now have 15 years of service as a civilian and combined 35 years of service (after paying off my military deposit). Do I still have to wait until I meet my MRA requirement before I can retire as a government civilian?
“Because you haven’t reached your minimum retirement age (MRA), you can’t retire now. However, you could resign and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your MRA. If you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for each year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) you were under your MRA; and you wouldn’t be entitled to the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. Alternatively, because you have more than 20 years of combined service, you could apply for an unreduced annuity at age 60.
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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.