Deferred retirement


Q. I am currently a FERS employee in the GS system. This is my situation: I had 15 years of active-duty time, at which time I left the Navy and have continued in the Reserves. I started in the GS system, bought my military time back (about $18,000 for 15 years active duty) and in 2011 will have five years as a GS employee to total 20 (military + FERS years). My question is:
Can I choose to take a deferred retirement in 2011 if I no longer want to stay with the federal government and pick up that pension when I am age 60? Would it behoove me to do this? I am only 42 right now and don’t think I want to continue to work full time with federal service until I’m age 56 1/2, plus I can make more money in the private sector working part time.
One more question:
Being that I have stayed in the Navy Reserve since I left active duty, I will still get my Navy pension at age 60 in addition to a FERS pension at age 60 as well, correct? In other words, I don’t want my Navy pension to be affected by also getting a federal pension…

A. With 20 years of creditable service, you could leave the government at any time and be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 60. Your annuity would be based on your years and full months of service and your high-3 on the day you left. Further, you would not be eligible to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance when you annuity began. Whether it behooves you to do that is something only you can decide.
You are correct that your reserve retired pay won’t be affected by your receiving a FERS annuity.


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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

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