“I was a federal employee for 8 years total, five years full-time and three part-time. I left at the age of 54. I know I can apply for a deferred retirement at the age of 62. When should I apply, months before I turn 62? I know OPM is always backed up and I expect a lengthy delay when dealing with them.”
It’s best to apply for your retirement annuity three months before you turn age 62. That will give OPM time to call up your case, review it, do the necessary calculations and put it the Treasury Department’s cue to begin regular payments of your annuity. That annuity will be based on the average of your highest three consecutive years of basic pay when you left government.
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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.