Q. When I reach age 56, I will have 20 years of federal employment. I realize I can retire at MRA + 10 with a reduced benefit of 30 percent. Can I defer or postpone my retirement to age 60, qualify under the 60/20 and not take a reduced benefit? Also, how does this affect my health benefits? Do I purchase my own health insurance and then re-enroll when I apply for my annuity?
A. If you have at least five years of continuous Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage when you retire and postpone the receipt of your annuity, you can re-enroll when your annuity begins. When you retire, you can elect to continue your current coverage for up to 18 months or switch to another plan under the temporary continuation of coverage provision, with you paying the full premiums plus 2 percent for administrative costs. After that, you’ll have to find coverage on your own.