Did you know there are actually three types of early retirement for federal employees?
Contrary to popular belief, federal employees have a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to early retirement.
However, early retirement usually comes at a cost.
Depending on your age and situation, the cost of early retirement may be relatively low or high.
Read on to discover the three basic kinds of early retirement and who is eligible for each one.
If you have other questions about early retirement or are looking for specific legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
What Options Do Federal Employees Have for Early Retirement?
Generally, federal employees have to be 62 to retire from federal service. Federal employees who are younger than 62 have the following retirement options:
- Disability retirement,
- Deferred retirement, and
- Involuntary early retirement.
Let’s look more closely at what these retirement options entail.
To qualify for disability retirement, you need to have at least 18 months of federal service and have a disabling condition that is expected to last more than a year.
You also need to be able to show that you cannot perform your essential duties because of your disability.
Finally, your agency needs to certify that it cannot effectively accommodate your disabling medical condition in your current position of record.
Assuming you’ve met these qualifications, you have to provide several detailed forms.
To learn more about how to pursue disability retirement, contact one of our federal employment attorneys today.
Employees who voluntarily leave federal service before their minimum retirement age can pursue deferred retirement.
For this option, you need to have at least five years of federal service. In addition, you need to leave your retirement contributions in the federal system when you depart.
In return, you can apply for retirement benefits when you hit the minimum retirement age (MRA).
While this option guarantees you will receive retirement benefits eventually, you may have to wait decades before you actually begin receiving payments.
Involuntary Early Retirement
When agencies are undergoing a significant reorganization or laying off a large portion of their workforce, they can offer their employees a special kind of early retirement.
This same type of early retirement is possible for employees who are involuntarily separated for certain reasons.
Assuming you are in one of these two situations, you can retire at age 50 if you have 20 years of service.
Alternatively, if you have more than 25 years of service, you can retire and receive full benefits at any age.
What Is the Minimum Retirement Age in the Federal Government?
Your MRA depends on a couple of factors. The first factor is your years of service in the federal government.
If you began working with the federal government before 1987, you are probably under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Under the CSRS, employees with 30 years of service have an MRA of 55.
Employees with more than 20 years of service have an MRA of 60, and employees with at least five years of service have an MRA of 62.
Anyone who began their federal career after 1987 will be under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).
The MRA for FERS employees depends on your year of birth. Employees born before 1948 have an MRA of 55.
Employees born after 1970 have an MRA of 57, and employees born between 1948 and 1970 will have an MRA between 55 and 2 months to 56 and 10 months.
Even after you hit your MRA, you may not receive all your retirement benefits.
If you retire at your MRA with fewer than 30 years of federal service, your retirement benefits will be cut by 5% for every year that you are under 62.
That means if you retire at 60, you will receive only 90% of your retirement benefits. And if you retire at 50, you will only receive 40% of your retirement benefits.
If You’re a Federal Employee Pursuing Early Retirement, We Can Help.
Whether you’re pursuing disability retirement or deferred retirement, it can be difficult to obtain the early retirement benefits you deserve.
For the best outcome, you should seek the assistance of qualified legal counsel.
An experienced federal employment attorney can help you understand your retirement options and prepare your retirement application.
Here at the Law Office of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, we’re passionate about serving dedicated civil servants.
We strive to help all our clients reach their retirement goals, regardless of their age or years of service.
Over the years, we’ve helped many federal employees obtain early retirement and disability retirement.
In addition, we have helped hold federal agencies accountable when they fail to meet their legal duties.
Worried about the cost of hiring an attorney? Don’t be.
The last thing we want is money concerns to come between you and the retirement you deserve.