What is the Average Age of Retiring Federal Employees?

OPM has released retirement statistics for federal employees leaving the workforce for the last several fiscal years. How do you compare to the average retiree?

Thinking about retiring from your job with the federal government? How old are you now? At what age do most federal employees retire?

According to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the average retirement age has been going up during the last several fiscal years. The rise is not dramatic but the trend is unmistakable.

In general, Asian federal employees often retire later than other racial/ethnic categories, and women often retire earlier than men. Federal employees in Hawaii retire at an older age than any other state. Federal employees in Kentucky retire earlier.

All data are from the latest OPM report on federal retirement.

Average Retirement Age for Federal Employees

Here are the data on the average age of those retiring from the federal government from fiscal years (FY) 2015-2017:

Fiscal Year Average Age
2015 61.3
2016 61.7
2017 61.8

Women Retire Earlier Than Men

Women tend to retire a little earlier than men, on average.

Gender 2015 2016 2017
Female 61.1 61.5 61.7
Male 61.5 61.8 61.9

The average retirement age for women increased by 1.0 percent from FY 2015 to 61.7 years in FY 2017. The average retirement age for men increased by 0.7 percent from FY 2015 to FY 2017.

Average Retirement Age by Race/Ethnicity

The ethnicity and race with the largest increase in average retirement age for the last three fiscal years was “Two or More / Other.” The average age increased by 2.5% from FY 2015 to FY 2017. The ethnicity and race with the second largest increase in average retirement age were Black federal employees with a 1.1 percent increase from FY 2015 to FY 2017.

Ethnicity/Race 2015 2016 2017
American Indian/ Alaskan Native 61.6 62.3 62.1
Asian 63.8 63.9 63.8
Black 60.9 61.4 61.6
Hispanic/Latino 60.3 60.5 60.6
White 61.4 61.7 61.8
Two or More / Other 59.9 60.7 61.4
Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander 62.4 62.4 62

State Differences

There is also a difference in the average retirement age in different states. The state with the lowest average retirement age is Kentucky which has edged up to 61 years old for the average federal retiree.

On the other end of the scale, the state with the highest average federal employee retirement age is Hawaii at 63 years old.

Retirement Age Trend Analysis in the Federal Executive Branch

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47