Retirement benefits after termination


Q: If I were fired from my Federal Employees Retirement System-covered position several months before turning 62, would it affect my future eligibility to sign up for the group health insurance available to retirees, assuming that I already have enough years of service to retire?

A: If you were already enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and were eligible to retire when you were separated, you could retire instead and, as long as you had five years of continuous coverage, continue that coverage in retirement. On the other hand, if you were separated before you were eligible to retire, you would be given a 30-day extension of coverage at no cost to you. You would also be given the opportunity to enroll in private coverage at your own expense. If you weren’t already enrolled in the FEHB (or weren’t eligible to carry that coverage into retirement), you wouldn’t be able to enroll (or re-enroll) unless you returned to work for the government in a position that offered such coverage.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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