Q: Hi Reg, my wife worked 24 years with USPS.she was under CSRS with 24 years of service. Is she able to collect before age 62? ( 60 with 20 years of service.)

A: No, she isn’t. Assuming that she didn’t receive a refund of her retirement contributions when she left, she’d be entitled to a annuity at age 62. If she did, she wouldn’t be entitled to anything.


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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


  1. My husband died suddenly . he had been out on illness for three weeks and had he lived, which we expected, his doctor said he should go on disabiity. He did not apply for that as his death came so suddenly; a week after he was told this.
    I am receiving a survivor benefit from his pension. However, if he had received it, it would be double.
    If he paid in all those years ( 37 in Postal, 3 in military), shouldn’t they be paying ALL of it out? Do they just get to keep half his retirement annuity?

    • By law the survivor spouses of CSRS employees are entitled to 55 percent of what their spouses would have been received if he had retired. Financially speaking, it would have been pointless for him to apply for disability retirement. Because he had over 22 years of service, there wouldn’t have been a penny’s difference between a disability annuity and a regular annuity.

  2. If a FERS annuitant (below retirment age with 17 years of fed service) is close to maximum earning capacity in the private sector, should the annuitant (if max earning capacity is met or surpassed) voluntarily send a request to “waive” the annuity or have OPM stop the annuity on their own? The disability is on record as permanent but which of the 2 options offers the least “stressful” avenue to take in reinstating the annuity down the road if the earned income capacity is no longer met?

    Thank you!

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