ATC Good Time Retirement Question

indistinct925

Member
Messages
5
I just got my 20 years of good time but I am not 50 years old yet. I am thinking about bidding another job in the FAA that is not in the ATO or even leaving the FAA and joining another federal agency closer to my hometown. Due to the NCEPT rules there is no way I am ever getting out of my current facility without some kind of waiver.

My question is can I still retire when I turn 50 years old with my 20 years good time even though I won't be an active controller anymore or possibly working in another agency when I do turn 50?
 
Last edited:

indistinct925

Member
Messages
5
I just got my 20 years of good time but I am not 50 years old yet. I am thinking about bidding another job in the FAA that is not in the ATO or even leaving the FAA and joining another federal agency closer to my hometown. Due to the NCEPT rules there is no way I am ever getting out of my current facility without some kind of waiver.

My question is can I still retire when I turn 50 years old with my 20 years good time even though I won't be an active controller anymore or possibly working in another agency when I do turn 50?

I just got off the phone with the FAA Benefits Operations Center and was told that as long as you get your 20 years of "ATC good time" first you can take any other federal job inside or outside the FAA and still retire at 50 with an ATC retirement. The guy told me if you go to another government agency you may be asked a lot of questions by their HR people and may see a delay in your retirement payments because they may not be familiar with how ATC retirements work. Just thought I'd let everybody know in case they want to do the same thing I'm trying to do.
 

DowntownTG

Active Member
Messages
81
Did HR mention if you can take a non federal job and apply for a deferred ATC FERS retirement once you hit age 50, penalty free? I feel like that is the magical question I hear at every facility I go to but I've yet to encounter anyone who has actually done it.

- I know former federal employees (non-atc? maybe atc too?) can apply for a deferred retirement once they reach MRA or age 62 depending on years served. Deferred FERS OPM Sauce
- I know former employees can also request a refund of FERS contributions in which you would also get interest on the contributions. You can even redeposit the FERS contributions if you re-enter federal service after a FERS refund. OPM FERS Refund/Redeposit Source

I would assume based on those policies already in place for non-ATC FERS you could apply for a deferred ATC FERS annuity if you apply after you hit age 50 having served you good time already even if you are no longer a federal employee. But we all know what happens when you assume.
 

indistinct925

Member
Messages
5
Did HR mention if you can take a non federal job and apply for a deferred ATC FERS retirement once you hit age 50, penalty free? I feel like that is the magical question I hear at every facility I go to but I've yet to encounter anyone who has actually done it.

- I know former federal employees (non-atc? maybe atc too?) can apply for a deferred retirement once they reach MRA or age 62 depending on years served. Deferred FERS OPM Sauce
- I know former employees can also request a refund of FERS contributions in which you would also get interest on the contributions. You can even redeposit the FERS contributions if you re-enter federal service after a FERS refund. OPM FERS Refund/Redeposit Source

I would assume based on those policies already in place for non-ATC FERS you could apply for a deferred ATC FERS annuity if you apply after you hit age 50 having served you good time already even if you are no longer a federal employee. But we all know what happens when you assume.

You have to wait until 57 to take a deferred retirement at a 5% reduction per year below age 62. If you wait til 62 there is no penalty. You also don't get health benefits if you take a deferred retirement. I looked into this a few months back when I was thinking of resigning from the FAA altogether. I will more than likely try to get something outside of the FAA. There a ton of federal jobs in our hometown and a career change sounds very appealing. right now.
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
2,886
ATC retirement is a special case, and the benefits of it (retirement age, extra %) ONLY apply if you meet all of the ATC retirement requirements. If you don't meet those requirements, and mix & match other retirement options, you're just a federal employee, not ATC for retirement purposes.
 

DowntownTG

Active Member
Messages
81
ATC retirement is a special case, and the benefits of it (retirement age, extra %) ONLY apply if you meet all of the ATC retirement requirements. If you don't meet those requirements, and mix & match other retirement options, you're just a federal employee, not ATC for retirement purposes.
So is one of the ATC retirement requirements current federal employment? Or another way of asking, can ATC retirement only be applied to early or voluntary retirement?
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
2,886
So is one of the ATC retirement requirements current federal employment? Or another way of asking, can ATC retirement only be applied to early or voluntary retirement?
Generally speaking, you can apply for it anytime after you meet the requirements. ATC can't have "early" retirement because it is already part of the special provisions. Voluntary/optional retirement is the only ATC retirement (with some outlier exceptions like force reduction). If you meet the 20yrs/age50 you will always be good for the ATC provisions regardless of what you do work wise after that.

For deferred, I'm still trying to figure out if you get 1.7% if you don't meet any 'normal' retirement criteria. IE: work as a controller for 8 years then leave federal service. I can't find any reference to 1.7% outside of the special provisions, so I'm still looking for info on that.

I asked OPM a bunch of these questions and they were about as helpful as you would expect an entire federal agency of HR people to be.
The manual is at CSRS/FERS Handbook and it has CFR citations in each section.


The special benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and air traffic controllers apply only to employees who separate with entitlement to an immediate annuity under the special provisions. Consequently, MRA + 10 and deferred retirement provisions only apply to special group employees who separate before meeting the age and service requirements for benefits under the special provisions.

SPECIAL GROUPS
Law enforcement officers, firefighters, air traffic controllers, and Members of Congress who separate from service subject to FERS for reasons other than misconduct with 20 years of service as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, air traffic controller, or Member may receive a deferred annuity at the MRA with no reduction for age. See Chapter 46, Special Retirement Provisions for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers, for further details.
 

indistinct925

Member
Messages
5
ATC retirement is a special case, and the benefits of it (retirement age, extra %) ONLY apply if you meet all of the ATC retirement requirements. If you don't meet those requirements, and mix & match other retirement options, you're just a federal employee, not ATC for retirement purposes.
Thats why it is very important to get your 20 years of good time before you look at other career options such as regional office jobs, other federal agencies, etc.
 

TangoFox

Member
Messages
28
I just got off the phone with the FAA Benefits Operations Center and was told that as long as you get your 20 years of "ATC good time" first you can take any other federal job inside or outside the FAA and still retire at 50 with an ATC retirement. The guy told me if you go to another government agency you may be asked a lot of questions by their HR people and may see a delay in your retirement payments because they may not be familiar with how ATC retirements work. Just thought I'd let everybody know in case they want to do the same thing I'm trying to do.

So just to clarify, if you came in at 20, leave ATC at 40, work at another federal job for the next 10 years, then you can retire at 50 with immediate access to all the benefits (tsp, pension, health insurance) you would have had if you continued to work ATC between 40-50? Excluding the lower pension amount.
 

AB19

Forum Sage
Messages
1,526
So just to clarify, if you came in at 20, leave ATC at 40, work at another federal job for the next 10 years, then you can retire at 50 with immediate access to all the benefits (tsp, pension, health insurance) you would have had if you continued to work ATC between 40-50? Excluding the lower pension amount.
Why would it be lower? You only get the 1.7% for the first 20 years anyways
 

indistinct925

Member
Messages
5
So just to clarify, if you came in at 20, leave ATC at 40, work at another federal job for the next 10 years, then you can retire at 50 with immediate access to all the benefits (tsp, pension, health insurance) you would have had if you continued to work ATC between 40-50? Excluding the lower pension amount.
Correct.

I am not sure what you mean by "excluding the lower pension amount".
 

blarg

Member
Messages
23
Generally speaking, you can apply for it anytime after you meet the requirements. ATC can't have "early" retirement because it is already part of the special provisions. Voluntary/optional retirement is the only ATC retirement (with some outlier exceptions like force reduction). If you meet the 20yrs/age50 you will always be good for the ATC provisions regardless of what you do work wise after that.

For deferred, I'm still trying to figure out if you get 1.7% if you don't meet any 'normal' retirement criteria. IE: work as a controller for 8 years then leave federal service. I can't find any reference to 1.7% outside of the special provisions, so I'm still looking for info on that.

I asked OPM a bunch of these questions and they were about as helpful as you would expect an entire federal agency of HR people to be.
The manual is at CSRS/FERS Handbook and it has CFR citations in each section.
I *think* this is the original purpose of the MRA +30 thing. For people who only work front line for a few years, then end up moving to non-ATC positions, then still work for 30 years/57+yrs old... when they finally do retire, they still get the 1.7% for all years worked as ATC (be it only 5 years or whatever, instead of just 1% per year for those few years). But for those of us who work our entire careers as front line controllers/supes for 30+ years we can also reap the 1.7% for everything. Despite it making more sense to reward those people (the latter example), I'm pretty sure the reason it was created was for the former.

edit- oh wait you mean leaving federal service. Not just changing to non-atc. I don't know anything about that.

I've been wondering, too, if you hit 56 and then can't get an extension or find another atc job and are forced out, if you can find "any" federal job, and work that extra year, then retire with the MRA30 provisions.
 

FightingIrish2012

Forum Sage
Messages
1,264
I’m so happy those greedy MRA fucks who retired 2-5 years ago are now stuck and not going to get any COLA raises until they are 65 with inflation at 7% most years. Eats up all that effort for the extra 0.7% for just a few extra years really fast lol.
 

Mike Kilo

Legendary Member
Messages
2,574
I’m so happy those greedy MRA fucks who retired 2-5 years ago are now stuck and not going to get any COLA raises until they are 65 with inflation at 7% most years. Eats up all that effort for the extra 0.7% for just a few extra years really fast lol.
In their defense I highly doubt any cola change will actually account for the full inflation.
 

blarg

Member
Messages
23
I was mostly messing around but most of them likely scammed there way to that type of retirement.
Only ones I know that have gotten it were on the floor working planes their entire careers, one or two with a few years of supe at the end.

Most of the people who are scammers can't stick it out that long. lol
 

BNFaz

Member
Messages
46
If you leave the agency before your 20 years good time but have at least 10 years of government service don't you get a reduced retirement benefit?
 
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