Annuity and FEHBP

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Q. Is there any benefit to postponing my retirement pension when I turn age 62? I am eligible then, as I will have the minimum five years’ creditable service through the Department of Veterans Affairs and four years’ active-duty Army. I plan to continue working in the private sector as long as possible. I would prefer to keep my government health insurance and life insurance, if possible.

A. I can’t think of any reason why you should postpone the receipt of your deferred annuity when you become eligible for it at age 62. However, regardless of when you claim that benefit, you wouldn’t be able to re-enroll in either the health insurance of life insurance programs. While you’d receive a 31-day, premium-free extension of your FEHB and FEGLI coverage when you leave, your only health benefits option would be to enroll in a plan of your choice under the temporary continuation of coverage provision. That TCC coverage would last for up to 18 months and cost you 100 percent of the premiums, plus 2 percent for administrative expenses. As for your life insurance, you could elect to enroll in an individual policy for which you’d pay the full cost.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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