Early retirement

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Q. I will have 30 years of service in October 2018, but I will only be 55 years old as of Aug. 29, 2018. I am so ready to retire — with the stress of the U.S. Postal Service and my family stresses, I cant endure another year of service. Can I retire in October 2018?

A. No, you can’t. What you could do is resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56. Just be aware that you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs when you annuity begins.

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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.

9 Comments

  1. If you’ve made it this far you should be able to endure less than one year longer.

    You could also try to transfer to another Federal agency to continue your civil service career there. DOD, DHS and VA likely will be hiring!

    • David McKay on

      If the USPS asks for and gets voluntary early retirement authorization from OPM, then you would be eligible to retire immediately if your position is covered by it, due to your length of service (over 50 with 20+ years or 25+ years at any age).

      Also if you are facing RIF, you could also retire early under a discontinued service retirement- you also have enough time to qualify.

      Only other way you could retire prior to age 56 is via FERS disability retirement. You will have to have medical documentation that you can no longer work + also apply for SSDI at the same time.

      Otherwise like you stated with family issues you probably can’t afford to permanently give up your FEHB benefits if you left prior to age 56 without retirement and went deferred retirement route. If you made it nearly 30 years already you can make it till age 56.

      I’ll hit the 30 year milestone myself just prior to turning 50, but will have to wait nearly 7 years before I hit my MRA.

  2. Cathy Simmons on

    Do you have any temp time (that’s not FICA) you can pay back towards your retirement?
    I was able to pay back 2-1/2 yrs of my time.
    TIME BEFORE 1989
    FICA time can’t be payed back.

  3. Do you have any temp time (that’s not FICA) you can pay back towards your retirement?
    I was able to pay back 2-1/2 yrs of my time.
    TIME BEFORE 1989
    FICA time can’t be payed back.

  4. You probably have a lot of sick leave saved up. With all the stress you say you are under, file for FMLA. You will need to go to a Doctor and get a letter saying you are under treatment and need to be off work (either all at once or intermittently). You file this with Shared Services, not your Supervisor. They are not entitled to see your medical documentation, only that you have FMLA approval.Then you can take off up to 12 weeks to deal with the stress. That gets you 3 months of relief. Hang in there and take it day by day. You are too close to give up now.

  5. Reg,

    Can you verify a comment on this thread please? Is it true that if you resign and apply for deferred annuity you are at that point NOT eligible for the FERS Supplement?

    Thank you.

    • Yes, it’s true. No one who applies for a deferred annuity is eligible for the special retirement supplement.

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