Special retirement supplement


Q. I am a FERS retiree who applied for postponed retirement now that I am age 60 with 23 years of service. I have been a postponed status since age 55 with 23 years of service in order to not have my retirement reduced each year to age 60. The OPM retirement specialist processing my retirement has denied me the special retirement supplement stating that I was not eligible since it was met only for those retiring on an “immediate retirement.” I have had conflicting readings on this benefit for postponed FERS retirees, and I can’t see why the benefit would not apply since the rationale for the supplement would be the same for postponed retirees as it would be for “immediate” retirees before age 62. How can I appeal this denial?

A. Your agency is correct. No one who retires under the MRA+10 provision is eligible for the special retirement supplement, even if he postpones the receipt of that annuity to a later date to avoid the age penalty.


About Author

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


  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    This answer is not correct. Entitlement to the Retiree Annuity Supplement is tied to the retirement option elected at the time they leave federal service. In Chapter 51, Retiree Annuity Supplement, page 5, https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c051.pdf, it specifically states individuals retiring under the MRA+10 option are NOT eligible for the supplement. Also, in Chapter 42, MRA+10 Retirement, page 15, https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c042.pdf it also specifically states “Employees who retire under the MRA + 10 provision are not eligible for the retiree annuity supplement. ‘

    • Thanks for catching that. My mind must have been elsewhere when I wrote that answer. It’s now been corrected.

    • Larry Harrigan on

      Ms Lumsden, the problem is that the form one submits to take a deferred or postponed retirement does not give legal due notice that under deferred you take a deduction to your pension, you don’t get the government health, dental, or life insurance, nor the special retirement supplement. While under a postponed retirement, if wait until 60 year of age with 20 years of service, you receive everything a regular retiree receives – – but not the special retirement benefit. In my opinion, the RI 92-19 is constitutionally defective, but should be simply corrected to state what you are or are not receiving and or cite where to find it. I suffered the same fate and it has likely cost me close to $50k – and I’m trained as a lawyer.

      • Here is the response I got from OPM:

        First, agencies are responsible for providing retirement counseling to their employees.

        With regard to the RI 92-19, the instructions for the form explain the reduction for a commencing date that precedes the applicant’s 62nd birthday. The instructions also mention that no reduction applies (age 60 with 20 years of service). There is also information on FEHB, FEGLI, and FEDVIP for individuals who separated from service after MRA with at least 10 years of service. The fact that it is not discussed for a deferred annuity is because those benefits terminate.

        The requirements for the FERS annuity supplement are set out in statute and regulation, and information is also provided on OPM’s webpage and in OPM publications and pamphlets.

  2. Hello Mr. Jones

    I am ready to move on, however I am only 60, and would like to (delay; postpone; or resign), (not sure which term to use), my actual retirement date until age 62. In other words I do not want to retire on paper until age 62 but at the same time stop coming in to work 6 months before turning 62 and still pay for health benefits under FERS. Which form(s) should be completed for resignation status on? The reason for wanting to leave as soon as possible – I can not do this any longer than necessary.

        • There is no provision in law or regulation that would allow you to do what you are proposing. Further, the Comptroller General of the United States has ruled that employees may not take terminal leave. Since you are already eligible to retire, you can do that whenever you want to. You just need to pick a date that meets your needs.

  3. Elaine Lumsden on

    Mr. Harrigan, I hear what you are saying and your agency bears responsibility of not informing you of your options. During your exit interview this information should have been conveyed to you. And, in the first paragraph of the RI-92-19 is says if you do not have a copy of pamphlet RI-92-19A here is where you can download a copy and FYI, here is that link: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri92-19a.pdf I realize this information does not help you now and I am sorry you are in this position. I am glad to see Mr. Jones is forwarding this to the Office of Personnel Management.

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