Q. I am 64 years old with 28 years in the post office, all FERS. I would like to retire in March. How long will it take for my Social Security checks, my Thrift Savings Plan account and my Postal Service pension checks to begin? I would like to continue my current health plan and apply for Medicare ASAP. I would also like to keep my current life insurance plans.

Q. I am a 60 percent disabled veteran, so I earn a disability income. When I started work at the Postal Service, I bought my military time back so it would count toward retirement, so my service date is Sept. 1, 2001 (actually started in 2006). I am 46 years old now and I am looking to leave the USPS within three to four years. What options do I have for retirement? Could you explain deferred annuity and any other options available to me?

Q. Do I have to be on active federal service to apply for retirement?  In other words, can I resign from my current GS job, not work and check the “retired scene” for a month or two (i.e. take a break), then apply for retirement if I so desire, but keep the option not to retire and apply instead for another job if I find not working to be boring? And if my decision is to go ahead and retire, are there special requirements? How do I apply for retirement if/when I am not on current register?

Q. I have been enrolled in Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance since 1983 and plan on retiring this year. In 2010, I added life insurance coverage for my spouse. Does the five-year rule apply for eligibility upon my retirement?

Q. I have been employed with the Postal Service for 26 years. I am 64 years old and am eligible for retirement. I would like to work for another year. I have some health issues. If I should die while I am still working, would I lose all that I have paid in to my retirement, or would my wife get my retirement benefits? If so, how much? Or would she only get my life insurance benefit?

Q. I have some questions regarding retirement under FERS: 1. They used to allow lump-sum withdrawal of your own contributions to your retirement so you could transfer to your own IRA. Is that still an option, or has that since been rescinded? 2. My wife and I are contemplating not taking survivor benefits because she will get my Thrift Savings Plan and Social Security payments. Also, I have provided enough life insurance to cover her income. The question was raised that she would then not be eligible for my Federal Employees Health Benefits for medical if I was deceased. What…

Q. My uncle passed away, leaving my aunt who just turned 98 in need of full-time care. I have been paying her bills and her caregiver. I mistakenly thought the income he received was Social Security, but found out that it was his federal pension. He received this payment of approximately $1,400 per month direct deposited into their account until May following his death. They took back the March-May payments, then stopped any further payments. It has recently been brought to my attention that my aunt should have retained a portion or all of his pension as his widow. Her…

Q. I am a 43-year-old FERS employee who just completed my 20th year in a covered law enforcement position. I understand the 25 at any age/20 at age 50+ rules. I also understand that I may transition to a nonlaw enforcement position for the next five years and retire at age 48, or simply continue working until age 48 and retire with 25 years of law enforcement. However, at this point (age 43 with 20 years), if I retire and apply for deferred benefits, will those benefits be available when I turn 50, as 50 is the minimum retirement age…

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