Q. I am a 43-year-old attorney considering leaving federal service for the private sector. I have 9½ years of service, have been enrolled in FEHB for that entire time and am deciding whether any benefit would vest or accrue to me if I stay 10 full years rather than leaving a few months short of that. My human resources specialist says that if I have 10 years of service when I resign, then I would be eligible to apply for an early retirement annuity at age 57 (MRA+10, I think) and re-enroll in FEHB at that age. Is he correct? My primary concern is not the early annuity option but whether I would be eligible to re-enroll in FEHB upon retirement.
A. Your HR is half right. What’s true is that if you worked for 10 years and then resigned from the government, you could apply for a deferred annuity at your MRA. However, that annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62. Here’s what isn’t true: You wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit program.