Q. I am a FERS letter carrier. My MRA is 56, and my retirement date is April 2016. I will have 30 years by then. I would like to leave two or three years earlier. Is this possible without an early out or voluntary early retirement agreement? Is it possible to do this under deferred retirement? If it is, what health benefits and annuity would I stand to lose? I have enough money saved to where I could wait two or three years before receiving benefits. Is there any other way of leaving before my full retirement age? Even an extended leave without pay?
A. No. If you didn’t have 30 years of service at that point, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision. The 5 percent per year age penalty could be reduced or eliminated by postponing the receipt of your annuity. If you’d been covered by FEHB for the five consecutive years before you retired, you’d be able to re-enroll when your annuity begins. If you leave before being eligible to retire, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. However, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in FEHB.