Q. I worked for the federal government from September 1975 through April 1998 and elected to stay in CSRS when the new system was offered in 1987. I turned 62 on Aug. 12, 2012, but did not apply for my benefits under the assumption that the value of the annual benefits would increase if I waited until 65 or longer to begin collecting. Is that assumption correct, or should I apply immediately for the retirement benefits because there is no increase in the base annuity amount until I begin collecting and then I get cost-of-living adjustments?
A. Apply whenever you want to. Your annuity will be retroactive to the day you first became eligible for the deferred annuity. That annuity will be computed based on the benefit you would have been entitled to on the day you left government. You won’t be entitled to any COLAs between the time you left and the day you became eligible for a benefit. COLAs will be added if they occur after you reach age 62.