Retire at age 56


Q. I want to retire at the age of 55.  At this time I will have 35-plus years in with the U.S. Postal Service.  Will I be able to receive monthly annuity checks from TSP without a penalty?  I will be 55 years old in 2021 … when should I retire under FERS and not take a huge hit?

A. You may want to retire at age 55 but you won’t be able to do that. As a FERS employee who was born in 1966, your minimum retirement age is 56 years and 4 months. Because you would have at least 30 years of service, you could, of course, resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your MRA. If you did that, you wouldn’t be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while covered by FERS.


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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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