Postponed retirement and FEHB


Q. I am a FERS employee and may have to postpone my retirement without suffering the age penalty. I am over 59 with 28 years of service. If I postpone my retirement until age 60 and do not carry the optional insurance that I will have to pay for plus 2 percent, would I still be eligible to restart my Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage once my retirement begins. It will be almost six months that I will not have coverage. I have been enrolled in an insurance plan throughout my entire career. Also, if I am given separation papers involuntarily because of a transfer of function, could I resign and take an immediate retirement before 60 without penalty and also be eligible for the special retirement supplement?

A. If you retire under the MRA+10 provision and postpone the receipt of your annuity to reduce or eliminate the age penalty, you can re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program when your annuity begins. That’s true whether of not you elect to be covered by the temporary continuation of coverage provision. If you were involuntarily separated, the age penalty wouldn’t apply and you could continue your coverage without a break.


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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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