Benefits eligibility


Q: I used to work for the U.S. Postal Service, first as a mail handler, clerk, then a letter carrier. I served for about 10 years. I am 55. What would I do to find out if I have benefits and how could I get them?

A: If you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left government, you would be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62. To apply for it, two months before you reach age 62, you’d need to complete OPM Form 1496A, Application for Deferred Retirement (available at, and send it to the address on the form. If you did take a refund of your contributions, you wouldn’t be entitled to any benefit.


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