Deferred retirement


Q. I am 47 years old and have 22 years of federal service at the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am thinking about leaving the VA to pursue other career options. I want to defer my retirement and annuity until I am 62 years old. Will there be any penalty, and am I entitled to full retirement? Will I still be eligible for health insurance?

A. Because you have 20 years of service, if you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement deductions, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. That annuity would be based on your high-3 on the day you left and your years and full months of service. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in the FEHB program.


About Author

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

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