Defer annuity or collect at MRA+10?


Q. I am 54 and have over 26 years of creditable service under FERS. I am going to be leaving government service in the next few months. Is it better to take a reduced annuity at age 56 or wait until I can take the full annuity?

A. You don’t have a choice. If you leave government, you won’t be eligible for a deferred annuity until you reach age 60. And the only reason you won’t have to wait until age 62 for that annuity is because you have at least 20 years of service.


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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. Mr. Jones –
    I requested a MRA + 10 estimate (I paid for military service)

    I got following:
    1) high three calculations
    2) estimate for annuity (with mil svc)
    3) estimate for “postponement”

    The later (3) was almost $400.00 less/mo. Why such a big reduction?

    • It’s likely that the 2) estimate was what you’d get based on the standard formula. The 3) estimate was likely based on the 5 percent per year reduction in your annuity for retiring under the MRA+10 provision. A 5 percent per year reduction in made for every year a FERS retiree is under age 62. That age penalty can be reduced or eliminated by postponing the receipt of that annuity to a later date.

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