Retirement options before MRA


Q. I am 51 and have 32 years for FERS retirement now. I need to be at least 56 to retire. If I quit civil service now and work in the private sector, will I still receive FERS retirement and the FERS supplement when I turn 56? What other benefits would I lose, i.e. health insurance?

A. If you left government now, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. You wouldn’t be eligible for the special retirement supplement, nor could you re-enroll in either the Federal Employees Health Benefits or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs.


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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


  1. Carlos Velasquez on

    Mr. Jones, I read in two of your other answers that someone with 30 years of service can apply for a deferred annuity at MRA. That is the opposite of what you are saying here. Please confirm which answer is correct.

    Thank you.

    • A deferred annuity is one where you don’t meet the age and service requirements to retire when you leave government, but will at a later date. A postponed annuity is one where you meet the age requirement but only have between 10 and 29 years of service. You can retire on an immediate annuity under the MRA+10 provision; however, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year you are under age 62 (60 if you have at least 20 years of service).

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