Resigning before retiring


Q. I am 66 years old with 30-plus years of federal service. If I resign, will I still be able to apply for retirement a few months later, even though I am no longer a federal employee?

A. Yes. Since you meet the age and service requirements to retire, you can do that at any time. However, I can think of no good reason for resigning and applying for an annuity at a later date. And there are some downsides to doing that. Among others, you’d be solely in charge of filing the paperwork, parts of which require verification from your agency. Further, since any federal health or life insurance coverage you had would end, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either when you applied for your annuity.


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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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