Changing your mind


Q. I’m a FERS employee who has already submitted his paperwork to retire. Now, I’ve changed my mind and want to move it to a later date. Can I do that?

A. In most cases, changing your retirement date won’t be a problem. However, if your position is either being eliminated or your agency has already selected someone to fill your position, it can refuse your request. The reason for its refusal will have to be given to you in writing.


About Author

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


  1. My Human Resources person wasn’t clear on telling me my retirement date and I filed it a day late so I have recourse Thankyou I worked for the us post office are there any recording or records of our conversation

    • If you met the age and service requirements to retire on an immediate annuity, when you filed the paperwork is irrelevant. You could retire on any day you wanted to. However, if you were applying for early retirement and missed the window when it was being offered, then you couldn’t retire. I would have no way of knowing if the conversation you had with your HR person was recorded. You’ll have to ask him or her. If that conversation was recorded or if the HR person admits to making a mistake, you might be able to have your retirement application submitted to OPM after the closing date. However, a note from your agency explaining the error would have to be attached to that file when it’s sent to OPM.

  2. I have applied for social security and have been approved to started receiving benefits on February 9th based on my retirement effective date as December 31, 2021. I not need to move my retirement date effective 10/31/21. Am I able to move up my retirement request to reflect my earlier date? I am 65.

    • There is nothing that would prevent your moving your retirement to an earlier date. Just let your agency know as soon as possible.

      • Gary L Stockdale on

        Do I need to do anything to defer my retirement date? My job is not being eliminated.
        Could not use lite blue to change.
        Waiting forever on phone.

        • If you didn’t submit the paperwork to retire, you don’t need to do anything other than to let your management know that you have changed your mind. If you did submit the paperwork, you’ll have to withdraw your application. Start by letting your management know about your change of heart. Then ask them to help you track the application down and cancel it.

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