Any reason not to retire?


Q. I worked for the Department of Justice from 1989 to 2003 under FERS. I have worked in the private sector since that time. I will be 62 in 2015, at which time I think I qualify for a retirement annuity. Can I do all of the following:

1. Receive a FERS annuity based on my high-3 salary;

2. Continue to be employed in the private sector; and

3. Leave my Thrift Savings Plan money where it is for now.

Is there any reason not to do this, or any value in deferring this? My impression is that the annuity is not going to get any larger, so I should start receiving it as soon as I can. Am I missing something?

A. Mike: You can, and should, leave your money in the TSP, and manage it there, for as long as possible. It’s the best retirement investment vehicle you’ll find. You should also consider moving your eligible IRA, 401(k) and 403(b) money into the TSP, when they become available for rollover.

Reg: You are correct. You are now eligible for a FERS annuity based on your high-3 and length of service on the day you left. Since the initial amount won’t change, it’s better to claim it now than later. And receiving it will neither be affected by your private-sector employment nor will it affect that employment.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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