Leaving USPS early


Q. My wife wants to retire from the Postal Service, under FERS, with 30 years service but she’ll only be 50. Am I correct in understanding that she will be eligible for a deferred retirement at her minimum retirement age of 56 without any reduction to her annuity? What about the special retirement supplement? I’m assuming she won’t be eligible for that.

She’s been on my Federal Employees Health Benefits plan for the past 25 years. I’m also a postal worker. So can she get her own individual plan, or must she stay on my family plan? I was told it’s generally less expensive to have two individual plans than the one family plan in retirement.

A. You are correct on two counts. Your wife will be eligible for an unreduced deferred annuity when she reaches her MRA. But she won’t be eligible for the special retirement supplement. No one who leaves government and applies for a deferred annuity is eligible for the SRS.

As for FEHB insurance coverage, the two of you could change to self-only during any open season. While the premiums would be less, be aware that you would each have to meet the deductibles, co-insurances and catastrophic benefit limit.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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