Age and Service Requirements for FERS Retirements

by | Jul 26, 2018

Last Updated December 6, 2022

ageThere are many different types of retirements under the Federal Employees Retirement System and each has its own set of rules and requirements for you to be eligible for retirement. **This post will focus on the mainly just the age and service requirements for each FERS retirement, not the annuity calculations or benefits that go along with each.

Early Retirement

Under this type of FERS retirement, if you are at MRA+10, you are eligible for retirement. MRA+10 means that if you have 10 or more years of service, you can retire at your Minimum Retirement Age. This age depends on your birth year.

You can use this table to determine your MRA:

Birth year MRA
Before 1948 55
1948 55, 2 months
1949 55, 4 months
1950 55, 6 months
1951 55, 8 months
1952 55, 10 months
1953 to 1964 56
1965 56, 2 months
1966 56, 4 months
1967 56, 6 months
1968 56, 8 months
1969 56, 10 months
After 1969 57

Early Optional Retirement

If your agency undergoes a major reorganization, reduction in force, or transfer of function, and a significant number of employees will be separated or have their pay reduced, the agency head can ask the Office of Personnel Management to grant this type of retirement for eligible employees. Eligible employees are those who are 50 with at least 20 years of service (5 of which must be civilian service) or any age with at least 25 years (again, 5 of which must be civilian).

Voluntary Retirement

Eligibility is based on age and service requirements and other special requirements. If you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible for a voluntary immediate retirement where benefits begin 30 days after your separation.

Min. Age Min. Service Special Requirements
62 5 None
60 20 None
MRA 30 None
MRA 10 None

Any Age

50

25

20

Special Provisions
Any Age

50

25

20

Major Reorganization, RIF, Or transfer of function

Phased Retirement

Phased retirement is a little different, so here’s just a little background on what it is.

It’s essentially part-time retirement for federal employees. Phased retirement is intended to enhance the mentoring and training of employees who’ll be filling the position once you fully retire. It encourages experienced employees to remain in at least a part-time capacity until the less experienced employees are fully equipped to complete the job duties.

It permits you to retire from part of your employment while continuing to earn additional retirement benefits proportionately based upon the additional less than part-time employment while continuing to work part-time.

To be eligible, you must have been employed on a full-time basis for at least 3 years leading up to the entry into phased retirement. You must have at least MRA+30 or be at least 60 years of age with 20+ years of service. Those covered under special provisions are not eligible for this retirement. The program is completely voluntary and does require an agreement between employee and agency.

Deferred Retirement

A deferred retirement is just that, an annuity that you defer to a later date. You are eligible for this if you meet one of the following age and service requirements:

  • If you’ve completed 5 years of creditable civilian service, then you’re eligible for a deferred annuity beginning the 1st day of the month after you reach age 62.
  • If you’ve completed at least 10 years of creditable civilian service, including 5 years of civilian service, then you’re eligible for a deferred annuity beginning the 1st day of the month after you reach your MRA.

Disability Retirement

FERS Disability Retirement differs from regular FERS retirement because it relies on more than just age and years of service. While service does come into play, there is no specific age requirement. You must meet all the following requirements:

  • At least 18 months federal civilian service creditable under FERS.
  • You must have become disabled, while employed in a position subject to the retirement system, because of disease or injury for useful and efficient service in your current position.
  • Your disability is expected to last at least 12 months.
  • Your agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your condition in your current position and its considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same grade and pay level, within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.
  • You must apply before separation from service, or within one year.
  • You must apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

Harris Federal Law Firm has helped thousands of federal employees with their disability retirement applications. If you think you qualify for federal disability retirement, please call us at 877-226-2723 or fill out this INQUIRY form. The consultation is always FREE.

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