Retirement eligibility


Q. I am 49 and was wondering if I can retire at 52 with 20 years of Postal Service time even though my minimum retirement age is 56. If so, could I defer my pension until 60 and collect it then with a 5 percent penalty for each year before 62? Would I be eligible to continue my health benefits and collect the special retirement supplement until age 62 if I were to do that? Or would I have to use my MRA+10 computation to retire? If that is the case, would I then be able to continue my health benefits and receive the special retirement supplement at 56?

A. No, you can’t retire at age 52. All you could do is resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity either at your MRA or at age 60. If you retired at your MRA, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 60. If you waited to age 60, you’d receive an unreduced annuity. In neither case would you be able to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.


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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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