Postponed annuity and FEHB re-enrollment


Q. My husband is planning to retire from the government under FERS at age 62 with 27 years. We have a health insurance family plan under his name. I started to work for the government almost four years ago. I am a part-time employee (about 48-50 hours per pay period). I will not be able to collect any pension for many years, and I do not plan to stay on the job after my husband retires, so no annuity for me. If my husband decides to retire earlier with a postponed retirement, it is my understanding that he will have to pay a much higher rate for the health benefits (COBRA for 18 months) plus 2 percent administrative fees until the start of his annuity. If he postpones retirement and I start a health insurance family plan for all of us, will he then be able to restart his health plan at retirement (I know I will not be able to carry it with me because I will not get an annuity)?

A. If he retires while still covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and postpones the receipt of his annuity to a later date, he can re-enroll in it when his annuity begins.


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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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