Q. I am 57 years and two months old. I have 21 years of federal service (FERS), including two years and 11 months of military buyback time. I am considering early retirement. I have maintained Federal Employees Health Benefits since I started 18 or so years ago. The human resources experts here are telling me that if I defer my retirement to age 60 (which I am eligible) that I can never again receive FEHB. I cannot find that statement anywhere. I have seen a local in-service slide presentation that you can defer retirement until age 60 or 62 and pick up health insurance at that time. Can you tell me what is correct in this scenario?
A. Your HR was mistaken. Because you are eligible for an immediate annuity — MRA plus at least 10 years of service — you could postpone the receipt of your annuity and re-enroll in the FEHB program when your annuity begins. That’s always assuming that you were enrolled in the FEHB program for the five consecutive years before you left government.