Retirement and FEHB coverage


Q. I am a 45-year-old FERS employee with 10 years of service in the federal government and having Federal Employees Health Benefits from when I started, wanting to retire (at 45). Am I eligible for federal health insurance when I reach my minimum retirement age (58)? Or can I retire at 45 and rejoin the federal service (and take FEHB) at 56 or 57 and retire at 58 to get FEHB?

A. Let’s clear the decks first. You aren’t eligible to retire. You could, of course, resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. However, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in the FEHB program.

If you resigned, were covered by the FEHB program on the day you left, returned to government service and immediately re-enrolled in the FEHB program, met the age and service to retire, and had been enrolled in the FEHB program for five consecutive years, you could carry that coverage into retirement.


About Author

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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