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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

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The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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#1 Posted : Sunday, April 7, 2019 9:57:11 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 12/28/2007(UTC)
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Hello Ed,

I'm evaluating a MRA+10 Postponed Retirement scenario which would allow me to leave civil service very soon. I am now at my MRA (56) and have a healthy FERS TSP balance. However, I have only 27.0 Years Federal Service.

(1) If I retire now using the MRA+10 “Postponed Retirement Option,” when would I be eligible to begin receive an (unreduced) FERS Basic Annuity? Would it be at SCD + 30 Years (~ 3 years from now, Age 59)?
(2) Would I also be eligible to receive the FERS Annuity Supplement at that time?
(3) Could I begin taking FERS TSP Distributions in the meantime, without paying “early withdrawal” tax penalties?
(4) Under this scenario, I would not have the FEHB benefit after leaving civil service, but I could re-start under FEHB once the FERS Basic Annuity starts, correct?

The main downside with this scenario is a gap in FEHB coverage, although Obamacare would apparently be an option.

Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:51:42 PM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

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In answer to your answers assuming that you leave federal service at your MRA with 27 years of federal service: (1) You would be eligible for an unreduced FERS Basic Annuity starting the month you become age 60; (2) When your FERS Basic Annuity starts you will not be eligible to receive the FERS annuity supplement; (3) Since you are over age 55, you could if you need to make penalty-free (no 10 percent early withdrawal penalty) TSP withdrawals; and (4) Once your FERS Basic Annuity starts, you can reenter the FEHB program and get your FEHB health insurance reinstated.
thanks 1 user thanked Ed Zurndorfer for this useful post.
mc0111 on 5/23/2019(UTC)
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