Q. I will have 25 years of service soon but will only be 48. If the government offers early-outs, what will I be eligible for? Pension at one-quarter of my salary for the last three years? Health insurance? What if I get a part-time job? Will this affect my pension or annuity? Also, if I do an annuity on my Thrift Savings Plan, can I start that now? Will there be a penalty? Do I get this same amount for the rest of my life, or does it stop after a certain number of years?

A. Reg Jones: Because you have at least 25 years of service, you could retire at any age. Your annuity would be based on the standard FERS formula: 0.01 percent x your highest three consecutive years of average salary x your years and full months of service. If you were to return to work for the government either full or part time, as a rule, the salary of your new position would be reduced by the amount of your annuity. If you worked anywhere else, either full or part time, it wouldn’t have any effect on your annuity.

Mike Miles: You may use your TSP money to buy a life annuity once you separate from service. Life annuity payments are excepted from the early withdrawal penalty. As the name implies, life annuity payments are guaranteed to last for life.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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