Social Security, special retirement supplement and TSP


Q. I am a Postal Service employee under FERS. I am going to retire soon with 26½ years at age 60. Do I have to take the special retirement supplement, or can I waive it? If I take it, do I have to start taking Social Security at 62, or do I have an option to wait until I am older? If I decide to purchase an annuity with my Thrift Savings Plan balance from MetLife, is that annuity protected if MetLife folds?

A. Reg: There is no conceivable reason for turning down the special retirement supplement. You don’t have to apply for a Social Security benefit when you turn 62, you can delay that decision as long as you want.

Mike: A MetLife annuity is backed by MetLife. Your state may also offer some backstop in the case of MetLife’s failure. It’s not guaranteed by the federal government, if that’s what you’re asking.


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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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