FERS and health insurance


Q. I’m a FERS employee. I was told if you resign from the government and collect retirement later, you lose the health insurance coverage for you and your husband and you cannot re-enroll when you retire. Is that true?

A. Yes, that’s true if you resign from the government before you meet the age and service requirements to retire.


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. I am a FERS employee and started my Federal service in 1985 (Interim) and I have been searching to find out how the Special Supplement is handled for the interim service. As I understand things, the entire time will be counted for the FERS annuity but some things I’ve read lead me to believe that the Special Supplement will only be for the time after FERS began in 1987. They have stated that only service that was indicated as FERS on your SF-50 will count toward the years of service for the Special Supplement. Is that correct?

      • I am a FERS employee with over 10 years of service and qualify for retirement under the MRA+ rule. I qualify for an immediate annuity, but run the risk of a 5% reduction in the annuity payments each year that I am under 62. There is deferred and postponed retirement. Deferred retirement allows for waiting until you are 62 before receiving your annuity, but you lose any possibility to re-enroll for FEHB. Postponed retirement allows me to avoid the age reduction penalty and receive my full annuity payments and I can re-enroll in FEHB. Why do I have to send my postponed retirement form to OPM 60 days before I turn 62? Doesn’t OPM need to be informed now, by my HR office, that I plan to postpone my annuity? How does the paperwork get processed?

        • No, OPM doesn’t need to be informed now. According to the CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices, here is what you have to do if you are postponing the receipt of your annuity:

          “An employee who chooses not to file for an MRA + 10 benefit at the time of separation and who files more than 30 days after the date of separation should send a completed form RI 92-19, Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement, to OPM about 60 days before the date he or she wants the annuity to begin. The following address should be used to request a blank RI 92-19 as well as to file a completed RI 92-19: Office of Personnel Management Federal Employees Retirement System Retirement Operations Center Post Office Box 200 Boyers, PA 16017.”

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