Q: My mother worked part-time for the Veterans Affairs Department, less than 30 hours a week, from 1986 to 1992. She was Grade 4. In 1992, she retired at age 63. No one ever mentioned the possibility of a FERS annuity. Is she eligible? She worked at least five calendar years. She is now 81. If she is eligible, would she be able to get the annuity back until 1992 when she retired? In a lump sum? How would she apply?
A: The good news is that your mother will be eligible for a deferred annuity, which will be retroactive to the month in which she turned 62. To apply for it, she’ll need to complete OPM Form 1496 A, Application for Deferred Retirement, and send it to the address on the top of the form. You can download a copy at http://opm.gov/froms/pdf_fill/opm1496a.pdf.