Q. I am 40 years old and have seven years of federal service under FERS. Is it worth my time to keep on working three more years so I’ll qualify for the MRA+10 benefit?

A. Even if you had 10 years of service, you couldn’t retire under the MRA+10 provision because you wouldn’t have reached your minimum retirement age, which is 57. However, because you have at least five years of creditable service, you could leave government at any time. If you didn’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions, you could apply for a deferred annuity. If you did that before age 62, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62.


About Author

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


  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    In order for a FERS deferred annuity to be payable at the MRA with a reduction, there is a 10-year service requirement. With less than 10 years the deferred is only payable at age 62. REF: 5 CFR 842.212 Deferred retirement

  2. How would I know it I am eligible to receive a pension from the Postal Service I worked eight years, and do not remember getting a lump sum when I left. Is there a way of looking up my name in the pension files?

  3. I am in the exact same situation as Gail Barto. I worked at the USPS for 8 years (1988-1996). I don’t remember getting anything (paperwork) when I resigned. I did cash out my tsp though. Is that the lump sum retirement you are talking about?

    • The only paperwork you would have gotten when you left was a copy of the Standard Form 52 separating you from the service. The only lump sum payment you would have been entitled to was for any unused annual leave.

  4. I am 51 yrs old with only 21 years of services, at 57 I will have 26 years of services (FERS). I am assuming that I will meet the MRA+10.
    1. If I retire then at 57 will I automatically qualify for health insurance or do I have to 30 years services?
    2. Can I deferred my Annuity until I’m 60 so that I don’t get penalize at 57 since I won’t have 30 years services?


    • If you have been enrolled in the FEHB and FEGLI programs for the 5 consecutive years before you retire, you can continue that coverage when you retire. Because you will be retiring under the MRA+10 provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) that you are under age 60. If you defer the receipt of your annuity until age 60, your coverage under the FEHB and FEGLI programs will end after 30 days. You can continue your health insurance under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage provision for up to 18 months by paying the full cost of the premiums plus 2 percent to cover administrative expenses. When your annuity begin you can reenroll in the FEHB program with the same cost-sharing arrangement you had while an employee. On the other hand, your FEGLI coverage will end 30 days after you resign from the government. While you’ll be given an opportunity to buy private sector life insurance, you won’t be able to reenroll in the FEGLI program when your annuity begins.

  5. Jonathan P. Oyen on

    My planned retirement date is June 30, 2021. I on-boarded on October 13, 2009. I will be 57 years of age on May 13, 2021. I am contemplating deferred retirement and, if possible, want to retain my FEGLI beyond retirement (knowing that there is a cost). From this website, I have read a reply of yours saying that a deferred retirement means FEGLI will end after 30 days upon resigning from the government.

    In my mind, maintaining FEGLI is priority. Is deferred retirement and maintaining FEGLI even an option? If it is not, I will most likely choose an immediate retirement over a deferred retirement, even when knowing I will be penalized per the time frame leading up to my being 62 years of age as long as I can keep the FEGLI benefit.

    In summary, I want to keep FEGLI and retire or, if doable along with keeping FEGLI, possibly defer my retirement until the age of 62 years of age.

    • If you leave government without applying for an immediate annuity, you’ll receive a 31-day premium-free extension of your FEGLI coverage. When that ends, you’ll be given a conversion notice telling you that within 60 days of your separation, you can purchase a private insurance policy. This conversion privilege is a private business transaction between you and the insurance company. Premiums will be retroactive to the end of the 31-day extension of coverage. The cost of that insurance will be determined by four factors: the amount of insurance you apply for; the type of policy you apply for; your age; and the class of risk you fall into. Note: If you defer your retirement, you may re-enroll in the FEGLI program when your annuity begins.

  6. From:

    “If you receive a deferred annuity, you are not eligible to continue any health benefits or life insurance coverage you had while employed.”

    Reg, Am I missing something? I want to reconcile your note (“Note: If you defer your retirement, you may re-enroll in the FEGLI program when your annuity begins.”) with the above from the OPM webpage on deferred retirement.

  7. Jeanne Banta on

    If I retire with 18 years and 6 months at age 58 will I get a reduced Annuity by 20 percent ? Am I eligible for an immediate Annuity and continued Health insurance? Would I use the formula (1%x high 3 x years of service?)

    • Because you will have fewer than 20 years of service, you’ll be retiring under the MRA+10 provision. As a result, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you are under age 62. That annuity will be computed using the standard formula: .01 X your high-3 X all years and full months of service. Assuming that you don’t delay the receipt of your annuity to a later date, you’ll be able to continue your FEHB coverage.

  8. I work for CBP (FERS) . I AM CONSIDURING TO GET OUT WITH 8 YEARS OF SERVICE AT AGE 60. which will be in 2022. I’m I eligible to apply for a retirement? I have gotten conflicting information. I have heard that the minimum was 5 years or more of service at age 57? I see a lot of must be 10+ years. Thanks

    • Just to clear things up. Here are the age and service combinations needed to retire on an immediate annuity:

      62 with 5
      60 with 20
      Minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30

      You can also retire at your MRA with as few as 10 years of service, but with a 5 percent reduction per year in your annuity.

      Since you are 60 and have only 8 years of service, you aren’t eligible to retire at this time. Your best bet is to continue working until age 62. Then you’ll be able to retire with an un-reduced annuity.

    • Fred,

      As Reg explains, you will not be eligible to retire with an immediate pension (annuity) at age 60 with 8 years service. However, it seems like you could resign from your federal service at age 60 with 8 years, and then apply for a pension when you turn 62. This is called deferred retirement. If you google FERS DEFERRED RETIREMENT, you will find some information. As I understand, you will not be eligible to carry your health insurance after you leave, sand you will not be able to re-start it when you start drawing your pension.

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