To apply for civil service retirement, individuals must complete Standard Form 2801, available through the U.S. General Services Administration. If an individual has been separated from federal service for more than 30 days, he should mail the form to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, Post Office Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017. Information about the Civil Service Retirement System, retirement eligibility and steps to apply can be found at Benefits.gov.
Through the Civil Service Retirement System, both employees and agencies share in the expense of the annuities for which employees may become entitled, reports Benefits.gov. Eligibility is based on an individual's age and years of service.
The federal employee retirement program was created with the passage of the Civil Service Retirement Act in 1920. To be eligible for the optional retirement program, a person must be 62 or older and have at least five years of creditable federal civilian service, according to Benefits.gov.
There is a special optional program for air traffic controllers, law enforcement and firefighters including the provision that air traffic controllers may retire at any age after 25 years of service, says Benefits.gov. Find extensive information about planning and applying for federal employee retirement at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's website, OPM.gov.