Q: I will have 32 years of service (USPS) as of Feb. 17, 2011. I began as CSRS, then switched to FERS, so I have a frozen CSRS component of about five years. I reached MRA (age 56) in August 2010. I am confused about the postponed annuity issue. If I retire later this year, do I have to postpone my annuity until age 62, or will I receive an annuity immediately? If the annuity must be postponed, my only federal income would be the Special Supplement payable until age 62?
A: Because you already meet the age and service requirements, you can retire on an immediate, unreduced annuity. And you will receive the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. The only employees who might want to consider postponing the receipt of their annuities are those who retire under the MRA+10 provision. They would do that to reduce or eliminate the 5 percent per year age penalty.