Health benefits and postponed retirement


Q. I may separate from federal service (Veterans Affairs Department) at age 62 with approximately 16 years of total service. I am CSRS offset. Am I able to postpone taking the annuity until I retire at age 65 or 66? Is there any advantage to postponing taking the annuity? I have been continuously covered by Federal Employees Health Benefits for six years or so. From what I read, if I am employed outside of the federal system, I can discontinue FEHB coverage until I fully retire, then “rejoin” FEHB at the time I retire. Is this correct?

A. Because you would be age 62 and have at least five years of service, you could retire and postpone the receipt of your annuity to a later date. The annuity you’d get would be the same as the one you would have received if you’d begun taking it on the day you retired.

By retiring with at least five years of continuous enrollment in the FEHB program, you could carry that coverage into retirement. If you postponed the receipt of your annuity, you could re-enroll when your annuity begins.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply