Q. I left the federal service 15 years ago, so I am a discontinued service employee with FERS and Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts. I am 65 years old and have not started to take my FERS annuity payments, which should have started at age 62. Since I am making a reasonably good income outside of the federal government at the moment, I decided to hold off starting my FERS annuity payments until I actually retire — which may be in several more years, so I will be in a lower tax bracket. Is this a mistake? Are my assumptions correct in that whenever I submit my paperwork to start my FERS annuity payment, the FERS payment will be calculated retroactive to my age 62 official retirement time in a lump sum, and then monthly payments will continue?
A. Whether your decision to hold off applying for your deferred annuity is a mistake or not is something for you to decide, perhaps with the help of a financial adviser who has no stake in the answer. You are right about what will happen when you finally apply for the deferred annuity. You will receive a lump-sum payment retroactive to age 62 followed by regular monthly payments.