Over the last two weeks, I’ve spelled out the rules governing employees who retire on an immediate annuity under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and those who aren’t eligible to retire when they leave but have enough years of service to receive a deferred annuity when they reach the right age.

Now I want to focus on a unique feature of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Whether or not you are offered an opportunity to retire early by your agency, you can retire under the MRA+10 provision of law. In other words, you can retire at your minimum retirement age with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service.

MRAs are based on your year of birth:

In you were born                     Your MRA is

Before 1948                                        55

In 1948                            55 and 2 months

In 1949                            55 and 4 months

In 1950                            55 and 6 months

In 1951                            55 and 8 months

In 1952                            55 and 10 months


In 1953 thought 1964                         56

In 1965                            56 and 2 months

In 1966                            56 and 4 months

In 1967                            56 and 6 months

In 1968                            56 and 8 months

In 1969                            56 and 10 months


In 1970 and after                                57

The good news is that you have more flexibility to retire than your co-workers covered by CSRS. However, there is a downside. If you retire under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that you are under age 62. You can reduce or eliminate that penalty by postponing the receipt of your annuity to a later date.

To start your annuity, you’ll have to fill out Retirement and Insurance form RI 92-19, Application for Deferred or Postponed Annuity (available at www.opm.gov/forms), and send it to OPM.

Note: Even if you apply for a FERS annuity before age 62, you won’t be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement. No one who retires under the MRA+10 provision is entitled to the SRS.