Retirement and the military


Q. I retired from the military in 2009 with 20 years of active service, then entered federal service in 2009-2012. I resigned for 1.5 years due to medical, then returned to federal service in 2014 to present. So, if I depart in 2020, I would have 10 years of federal service.
What is my path to collect a pension for time served and how am I impacted by the minimum retirement age? I am born in 1966. If I want to depart federal service before my MRA, can I resign and defer annuity until 62 to forego penalty? If so, how does it work? Do I need to return to federal service or do I just file for retirement? Regarding MRA, is the rule that I must meet MRA before resigning or I forfeit any chance of pension at age 62 without penalty? How is the TSP impacted?

A. Your TSP will be yours to keep and manage, as you see fit.


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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 and view his blog at

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