The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I am a former FERS employee with over 30 years of combined federal government service with the U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Defense Logistics Agency who resigned from the federal government in 2023 at the age of 52.

My current age is 53 years old and understand my MRA is at either 56.5 or 57 years, but I wanted to find out when and or if I can apply for retirement once I meet my MRA.

I did purchase my military time back, and it has been applied towards my total service.

When can I apply for deferred or early retirement? And are there are any recommendations you have for me in between now and meeting my MRA?”

Reg’s response:

There’s a simple and straightforward answer to your question.

Former employee who have at least 30 years of service and haven’t asked for a refund of their retirement contributions are eligible for a deferred retirement at age 60.

Between now and then, either be parsimonious with your financial resources or get another job that will carry you over.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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