Q: I am 46 and have 25½ years of service with the U.S. Postal Service. If I take the offer of an early retirement, do I have to wait until I am 55 years to start receiving my annuity, and will I get my annual leave hours included on my last pay check?
A: Because you have at least 25 years of service, you can retire at any age if offered early retirement. You’d begin receiving your annuity immediately after you retire. However, you wouldn’t receive the special retirement supplement until you reached your minimum retirement age. The SRS approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while covered by Federal Employees Retirement System. You’ll have to check with your payroll office to find out if your lump-sum payment for unused annual leave will be included in your final pay check or will be sent to you after you leave the service.
— Reg Jones