FERS combined employment time


Q. I left civil service with just shy of 21 years of combined time (bought back 14 years of military) in November 2011 at age 44 (1967).

I did not withdraw any money from FERS, but I moved my TSP to an annuity. My intent was to just apply for a deferred retirement at age 62 to avoid penalties.

However, if I returned to Civil Service before 62, how many years would I have to work to be eligible for full health benefits under FERS? I also assume that if I returned by age 47 and worked until 56, I would have 30 years and could retire with an immediate annuity at my MRA, correct?

A: If you were enrolled in the FEHB program on the day you left government and re-enrolled when you returned, you would be eligible to carry that coverage into retirement if the combined time periods equaled five years.

If you return to work and have 30 years of service (actual and combined), you could retire when you reach your minimum retirement age. Because you were born in 1967, your MRA is 56 years and 6 months.


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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