Deferred retirement


Q. I am planning to defer my annuity since I am 55, have 20.3 years and plan to take a non-federal position. Can I just resign from my position and file my retirement when I reach 60?

A. Yes. Resignation is the only option for someone who leaves government before being eligible to retire. Two months before you reach age 60, you can apply for your deferred FERS annuity by completing the  Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement, available at, and sending it to OPM. The address is on the form.


About Author

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


  1. I am in a similar boat, but I am at my MRA + 20 yrs, and want to quit and postpone receipt of my annuity until 60. Same answer? Thanks.

  2. If this person resigns at 55 years of age, they won’t have health benefits when they retire at 60. If they wait until 56 years and 2 months (MRA), they can resume health coverage at age 60. Is this correct?

    • Deferred annuitants cannot re-enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs. Those who are eligible to retire under the MRA+10 provision but postpone the receipt of their annuity to later date can re-enroll in either or both programs as long as they were covered for the 5 consecutive years before they retired or from their first opportunity to enroll.

      • I’m confused – first sentence says deferred annuitants CANNOT re-enroll., 2nd says they CAN. Taking an early retirement age + 10, have been on FEHB for 12 years. Deferring my annuity. Can I re-enroll in FEHB upon collecting my annuity at 66?

        • You misread what I said. If an employee doesn’t have the right combination of age and service to retire and still wants to leave government, the only thing that employee can do is resign. However, if the ex-employee has at least 5 years of creditable service, then he or she can apply for a deferred annuity at a later date. When depends on how many years of service the employee had when he or she resigned. Here are the possibilities: age 62 with 5, age 60 with 20, or at the minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30.

          In your case, you would be retiring under the MRA+10 provision and your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) you were under age 62. While anyone retiring on a deferred annuity cannot reenroll in the FEHB program, those who retires under the MRA+10 provision – like you – can continue their FEHB coverage when their annuity begins, even if they postpone the receipt of that annuity to a later date.

  3. At the MRA, 20 years of service and taking the postpone retirement until age 60…will your unused sick leave be used in your retirement calculation?

  4. If you take a postpone retirement and have met your MRA with 20 years and decide to start collecting at age 59….does the 5% reduced annuity start at 62 or from 60?

  5. I’m considering resigning later this year at 54 with 14 years civil service. (MRA is 56 2mths). I have a 20 year military retirement (retired 2004) and am considering paying the military deposit (estimate $20k or so). I also get $660 VA disability (40%) that equates to an additional $7,920 per year that wouldn’t be taken from a civilian annuity like it currently is from my military retirement.

    Question: If I resign at 54 on a deferred retirement with 34 years creditable service (20 mil + 14 civ) and don’t start taking the annuity until 60 (when it would be penalty free), would I be able to delay paying the military deposit until right before 60 and continue to get my military retirement until right before my actual retirement annuity would start? Thanks

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