Deferred retirement under FERS


Q. I am a federal employee under FERS retirement. I would like to leave federal service with 21 years of service at age 57 (MRA=56). I also have over five continuous years of enrollment in FEHB. I am considering the deferred retirement.
Question One: Can I start my FERS annuity at age 60, without any penalties?
Question Two: can I re-enroll in FEHB and will my agency make similar contributions as when I was federally employed?

A. Under your scenario of age 57 and 21 years of service, you would have to retire under the MRA+10 provision. Your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62, unless you postponed the receipt of your annuity to a date closer to age 62 to reduce or eliminate the age penalty. If you retired under the MRA+10 provision and delayed the receipt of your annuity, you would be able to re-enroll in the FEHB program when your annuity begins and the government would pick up its share of the premiums.
Alternatively, you could resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. That annuity would be based on your high-3 and years of service on the day you left, and wouldn’t be affected by the age reduction penalty. However, you wouldn’t be allowed to re-enroll in the FEHB program. No one who retires under the MRA+10 provision can do that.


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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