Retiring with five years but not 62


Q. I will have been a federal employee for five years on Aug. 31. I will be 61 years old. I would like to leave federal service effective on that date. Will I be entitled to a pension? If so, how do I determine the amount. What is the financial impact if I wait to retire until August 2014 when I am 62?

A. If you retire at age 62, you would be entitled to an immediate annuity.

And, if you were enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs for the five consecutive years before you retire, you could carry those coverages into retirement.

On the other hand, if you wanted to leave at age 61, you would only be able to apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. Further, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in the FEHB or FEGLI 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

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