Difference between Early Retirement and Optional Retirement

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Marie Brennan 8 years, 8 months ago.

  • Author
  • #96157

    MaDiha MAHMOOD

    Hi All,

    I am wondering if anyone can help me understand the difference between early retirement and optional retirement in the government. Thoughts?


  • #96167

    Marie Brennan

    There are several differences.

    First, An early retirement can only be taken when one has been offered by the employing agency, usually because there is a major reorganiztion, a reduction-in-force, or a transfer of function.
    When an early retirement is offered, the “eligibility rules” are different:
    – age 50 and 20 years service or
    – any age with 25 years service.
    If the retiree is under age 55, there is also a reduction in the annuity.

    For an optional retirement (meaning the employee chooses to retire, under normal circumstances) the eligibility requirements include:
    – age 62 and 5 years, or
    – age 60 and 20, or
    – age 55 and 30.

    Check this site: http://www.opm.gov/retire/faq/pre/faq11.asp

  • #96165

    Henry Broitman

    I agree with Marie, but she failed to mention that her eligibility rules were for CSRS only. FERS employees also can go at 62 with 5 yrs, 60 and 20, MRA (55-57) and 30. There is NO reduction to the annuity for early out under FERS.

  • #96163

    Marie Brennan

    Thanks, Henry.

    I’m a CSRS’er and forgot about my FERS brethren!

  • #96161

    Awesome response, Marie – thanks! Graduate School, represent! 🙂

  • #96159

    MaDiha MAHMOOD

    Thank you, all!

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