A deferred retirement is one where you postpone the when you receive your annuity. This may be right for you if you are a former federal worker covered by FERS, and you want to apply for your retirement annuity. In this case, your annuity would begin at least one month after separation from Federal service (or a transfer to a position not covered by FERS). To be eligible for a deferred retirement, you must meet one of these age and service requirements:
- You have completed at least 5 years of creditable civilian service, then you are eligible for a deferred annuity beginning the first day of the month after you reach 62.
- You have completed at least 10 years of creditable service, including 5 years of civilian service, then you are eligible beginning the first day of the month after you reach MRA.
The Age Reduction mentioned earlier, will come into play if you have completed at least 10 years, but less than 30 years of creditable service and your annuity begins before age 62. The only exception to this is if you have at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins at age 60.
Keep these in mind when applying for a deferred retirement:
- FEHB: If you have separated from Federal service after reaching your MRA, and have at least 10 years of service, but you postponed your annuity to reduce or eliminate the Age Reduction, you are eligible to re-enroll in FEHB/FEGLI provided you participated in the programs for the 5 years of service immediately before you separated from Federal service. If you separated from Federal service with at least 10 years of service before reaching your MRA, or if you separated with between 5 and 10 years of service, and are applying for a deferred annuity, you are not eligible to continue any health benefits.
- FLTCIP: If you’re enrolled in FLTCIP when you separate from service, your coverage will continue. No action is required. However, you can opt to have your premium payments deducted from your annuity. If you’re not currently enrolled, you may apply for coverage as long as you are eligible for a deferred or postponed annuity.
As we saw with voluntary retirement, deferred retirement has its own set of qualifications for eligibility. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about your future. Lastly, we’ll discuss disability retirement.