5-year rule vs. service computation date


Q. I am a 63-year-old Air Force civilian employee and have been employed since Sept. 2, 2008. With no break in service, I was employed by the Internal Revenue Service as a seasonal employee for approximately eight months since Feb. 20, 2008.

Being a seasonal employee, I was not able to have Federal Employees Health Benefits. But I took out the coverage once I transferred over to full time with the Air Force.

If I retire in February, would I be able to take my health benefits with me, or would I have to wait until September?

A. The rule is that you must be enrolled for five years or from your first opportunity to enroll. If you enrolled at your first opportunity, you would be able to carry that coverage into retirement. Check with your personnel office to be sure that they understand that.


About Author

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

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