Annuity eligibility


Q. Nine years ago (in 2007) I voluntary resigned from the U.S. Postal Service after 21 years and six months of service. I’ve transferred my TSP to a regular IRA account. Am I entitled to any retirement/pension benefits? At what age can I start receiving the benefits? I am now 57 years old.

A. If you didn’t receive a refund of your retirement contributions when you left government, you’d be eligible for an annuity at age 60.


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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


  1. I have worked for 21 years at the post office. I recently had back surgery and am running out of leave. I don’t think I’ll be able to return even though my surgeon says it’s possible. I have gone through work comp which will probably be denied. It’s exhausting worrying about recovery without a paycheck. I feel like u should just retire and use my tsp until I can find another job. I doubt I’ll qualify for disability either. Is it a bad idea to just retire?

    • If you have reached your minimum retirement age, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 60. Or, if you are at least 50 years old, you could wait until your agency fires you and receive a discontinued service retirement and receive an annuity based on your years of service. Or you could apply for both Social Security disability benefits and FERS disability retirement. While you might not meet the “totally disabled” criterion for Social Security disability benefits, you may qualify for disability retirement.

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