Q. I will turn 62 in March and was planning on retiring with 22 years of service under CSRS. A job opportunity may come available before then, and I’m trying to figure out my options. If I retired now, would there be a significant difference in my annuity because I haven’t turned 62? Should I consider a deferred retirement? If so, until when? Should I keep my federal health benefits even though the new job will have better coverage? I probably will only work there for about five years — the minimum time to become vested in the 401(k) plan — so I will not qualify for any substantial retirement there.
A. Because you already have 20 years of service, you can retire any time you want. Each month you work adds 1/6 percent to your annuity when you retire. So if you retired six months before you were age 62, your annuity would be 1 percent less; if you worked six months past age 62, it would be 1 percent more.
Resigning and later applying for a deferred annuity would make no sense because you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. The same is true if you dropped that coverage when you took a private-sector job.