Retirement freeze


Q: I am CSRS Offset, 52 with more than 27 years of service. Because my agency has yet to offer a VERA, I am considering resigning and “freezing” my retirement until age 55. Is this legal, and if so, how would it impact my annuity?

A: While you could “freeze” the amount of your annuity by resigning, you wouldn’t be eligible for a deferred annuity until age 62. At that time, your annuity would be calculated using your years and full months of service and high-3 on the day you left. Any unused sick leave you had when you left would not be included in that computation. Further, if you were enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program, you would not be able to re-enroll in either. Instead, your coverage would be extended for 30 days at no cost to you with the option of converting to private coverage or, in the case of FEHB, continue your plan coverage for up to two years under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage provision, where you would pay the entire premium cost plus 2 percent.


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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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