Postal service retirement before age 56

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Q. My wife is 50 and has been a CSRS postal employee for 32 years. She may lose her job and wants to know if she can retire and freeze her retirement until she turns 56 to avoid the 2 percent per year penalty for her age.

A. No, she can’t. If she retires, the reduction will occur on that date.

Her only alternative would be to resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 55, not 56. However, if she is enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs, she wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in them when her annuity began.

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