Q. I understand that the Office of Personnel Management will fund the SRS from when I retire (I plan to retire in 2017 with 30 years of FERS and at age 57½) until I turn 62. Several co-workers recently attended retirement classes with OPM and Social Security employees as instructors. The instructors have stated that at age 62, when the SRS ends, the employees must begin to take SS payments instead of allowing them to wait until age 66, for example. I understood that I could start receiving SS payments at an age that best met my requirements, not having them start automatically at age 62. Please advise.
A. Either your co-workers misheard or the information they were given was wrong. While the special retirement supplement ends at age 62, you aren’t required to apply for a Social Security benefit at that time. You can pick the age at which you apply for that benefit. The later you apply, the greater it will be. However, if you are retired from the government and not receiving earnings from wages or self-employment, be sure that you are comfortable with the drop in income that will occur when the SRS ends.