Deferred annuity and FEHB


Q. I am a rural carrier under FERS. I am 58 with 22 years. If I defer my pension until 60 to keep from getting the 5 percent-per-year penalty under 62, can I still get my health insurance now?

A. You’ll receive an unreduced annuity if you retire and postpone the receipt of your annuity until age 62 (not age 60). If you begin receiving it before age 62, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent per year (5/12 percent per month). While you could re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program when your annuity begins, if you postponed its receipt, you would only receive 31 days of premium-free coverage. When that ends, you could receive up to 18 months of coverage under the temporary continuation of coverage provision. If you did, you’d have to pay the entire premium, plus 2 percent for administrative expenses.


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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

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