Deferred retirement


Q: I am 52 and a FERS employee with 30 years of service. I’m thinking about deferring my retirement until I reach the MRA of 56.  My questions are: When you defer you lose: the SSI at 56? You need to be in the service for five years to get the  health care? What if I come back to the government a year before I reach my MRA of 56, do I then get the SSI when I retire at 56? I know I would lose the health care without the continuous five years. I am more concerned with the SSI.

A: If you left government with at least 30 years of service, you would be eligible for a deferred annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age. As a deferred retiree, you wouldn’t be entitled to the special retirement supplement nor would you be able to re-enroll in either the Federal Employees Health Benefits or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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