Federal Employees News Digest

Federal Benefits Q&A

Question: If I decide to retire at age 50 with more than 20 years of service (to run a small business or become a contractor), am I qualified to stay under FEHB right after retirement? Can I stay under the plan for lifetime? If I have spouse and she is not federal employee, and if I buy family plan when I am a federal employee, can she also stay under the family plan when I retire?

Answer: Unless there is an early out authority (VERA or a VISP) at your agency (or if you are a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or an air traffic controller), you cannot retire at age 50 with at least 20 years of service. If there is such an early retirement, then you can keep your FEHB coverage for yourself and for your spouse throughout your retirement. This assumes that you have participated in the FEHB program for at least the last five years of your federal service.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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