Forgot to apply at 62


Q. I left federal employment some years ago. I had about 10 years of federal service. I’m now 63½. Are benefits retroactive to 62? Anything special I should do?

A. Assuming that you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left government, you’ll be entitled to a deferred annuity, and those benefits will be retroactive to the date on which you were first eligible for the benefit. Go to, click on forms, download a copy of OPM Form 1496, fill it in and mail it to the Office of Personnel Management.


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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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