Q: I am 54 with 30 years of federal service under FERS. I can immediately retire at 56 with 32 years of service. If I wanted to separate early (not retire) at age 54 and 1/2 (18 months before my official retirement age) could I pick up the full premium cost (plus 2 percent) of the 18 months of continued FEHB benefits, then when I turn 56, apply for an immediate retirement with my FEHB still intact?
A: No, you couldn’t. You’d be eligible for a deferred annuity but not eligible to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. No one who retires on a deferred annuity can do that.