Postal separation


Q. I am 47 years old with 20 years in the Postal Service and am planning on separating soon. Will I be eligible to keep with my current insurance? How/where do I find how much more my premium will be? Will I get my 400+ hours of annual leave in a lump sum? How long does that take to process? (I can stay employed longer if the lump sum would still be applied to this year’s income for tax purposes.) Would I be eligible for any pension at age 59½? Would my seven months of unused sick leave count toward it?

A. Because you have 20 years of service, if you resigned from the government, you’d be eligible for a discontinued service retirement at age 60. That computation would be based on your years of service and high-3 on the day you left. You wouldn’t get any credit for your unused sick leave, which would be lost unless you returned to work for the federal government.

You’d receive 31 days of premium-free Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage, after which you could continue your health benefits coverage at your own expense for up to 18 months under the temporary continuation of coverage provision. After 31 days of premium-free Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage, you’d be offered the option of enrolling in a private life insurance plan, also at your own expense. In neither case would you be able to enroll in either the FEHB or FEGLI programs when your annuity begins.

You would receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave. The amount you received would be taxable in the year you received it.


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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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