Retirement & Financial Planning Report

OPM has released new data on patterns in federal retirements covering through 2018, showing that the portion of retirees getting early retirement offers remained low while the average age at retirement continued to increase over a five-year period.

The number of non-postal retirements in 2017, 63,421, was slightly below the 65,323 of 2014 with other years in the period in the 59,000-62,000 range, the report shows (other OPM data on retirement numbers use different databases and show slightly different numbers).


The 1,128 early-outs of 2018 meanwhile were only about half of the number of 2014, although slightly above the figures for 2016 and 2017 and about the same as 2015. Early outs are offered on a case-by-case basis—often, but not necessarily, coupled with buyout offers—as agencies are downsizing, restructuring or relocating offices.

Also over that time, the average at retirement rose to 61.8 from 61.2 while the average length of service decreased from 27.3 to 25.1 years. That continues the long-term trends in both those indicators; in 2008 for example, according to a separate earlier OPM report, the averages were 59.6 and 28.2.

In 2018 there were just above 3,000 disability retirements, and 1,400 “other” types of retirement—including mandatory retirement, mainly applying to law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers. Those numbers were about average for the five-year period.

Could a Cafeteria Approach to Federal Benefits Be on Offer?

COVID Could Cause Some to Put Off Retirement

Primer: Early out, buyout, reduction in force (RIF)