Q. I have been employed in the federal government for approximately 23 years. I have been covered by FEHB the whole time. I may retire in the next two or three years, based on LEO retirement. My spouse worked for the federal government for 17 years under FERS, but resigned when we had children. She has been continuously covered by my FEHB plan. She intends to collect her pension when she turns 62.

When I retire, will I need to elect the survivor benefit on my pension to ensure that she has FEHB coverage should something happen to me or can she get her own FEHB plan once she collects her FERS pension, since she has been continuously in FEHB through my coverage?

A. If your wife will collect a postponed FERS annuity (that is, she was eligible to claim an immediate, unreduced annuity when she separated but elected not to), she will be eligible to resume her own coverage at that time. If she will collect a deferred FERS annuity (she could only claim an immediate unreduced annuity by waiting), she will not be eligible to resume participation in the FEHBP on her own record, and will continue to need to gain access to it as your spouse.


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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