Q: I’m a single FERS. My MRA is 56 with 23 ½ years of service. I’d like to defer retirement until 60, which would be this December. I’d like to confirm the MRA +10. In essence I’d really be resigning from the government. My human resources department says they would complete a PAI and SF-50 with the reason for resignation, then I would file my papers directly to OPM in 2014, 60 to 90 days before I’d like my benefits to start. I could wait longer than 2014 if I had outside employment. My main question is, if I don’t make it to 60, is there a type of beneficiary form that I can file now so any of my contributions and agency money I’m entitled to can go to my family? I have civilian life insurance policies and my TSP beneficiaries have been updated.
A: With 20 years of service, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision and apply for an annuity at age 60 or later. By doing so, you’d avoid the age penalty. Assuming that you were covered by the five consecutive years before you retired, you could also re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. If you were to die before becoming eligible for an annuity, the designation of beneficiary forms you signed before leaving government would assure that those you designated would get any federal benefits to which they were entiled. The same is true for any non-government policies where you’ve designated a beneficicary.