Q. I am a 66-year-old federal employee with 24 years of service whose office is offering buyouts to fix furlough woes we are experiencing. I am healthy and, while I would love to be able to retire, I am uncertain. We are being told if we take the buyout, we can get unemployment benefits and COBRA coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. Would this be a smart move for me?
A. Because you are already eligible, it would make better sense for you to accept the buyout and retire. If you tried the alternate approach, you wouldn’t be eligible to re-enroll in either the FEHB or Federal Employees Group Life Insurance programs when you finally applied for a deferred retirement.