Enrollment in health benefits


Q. I’m a FERS employee who was hired in 2011. If I decide to retire with 10 years of service when I’m 58 and delay the receipt of my annuity until I reach age 62, how will that affect my enrollment in the health benefits program?

A. If you were enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program for the five consecutive years before you retired, your coverage would end after 31 days. While you’d be able to keep that coverage under the temporary continuation of coverage provision for up to 18 months, you’d be responsible for paying the entire premium, plus 2 percent for administrative costs. When that ended, you’d have no coverage until your annuity begins, at which point you’d be able to re-enroll in the FEHB program.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Under your circumstances there is, I believe, no value in waiting until 62 to begin receipt of your annuity. You are leaving under MRA+10, so you might as well begin your annuity at 60. If you wait until you are 62, you will not receive the additional 10% increase to your annuity.

  2. In this instance, even if this person waited until age 62 to retire, they would not be entitled to the additional 10 percent annuity (or 1.1% multiplier) because at least 20 years of civilian service and age 62 is required for the higher retirement computation.

  3. I presently work for the VA and I worked there previously. So when I left the first Tim I was there 4yrs and 11 months, I have been back since 8/2020. I am a service connected disabled veteran and I am afraid I may have to have several surgeries on my leg. If this is the case and I have to not go back to work due to my disability, how does that work with my retirement?

    • Since you already have 5 years of creditable service, you are vested in the retirement system. If you are unable to return to work, you would still be eligible for a retirement benefit at age 62. That benefit would be based on a formula that includes your years of service and your three highest consecutive years of basic pay.

  4. I retired under the CSRS after 39 years; my husband receives Social Security. If he dies before me will I receive any benefits from Social Security?

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