Early Outs and Your FEHB Benefits

If federal employees are offered early outs or buy outs, does the 5-year FEHB coverage requirement also get waived?

Q: I am 55 yrs old and work for the VA with a service comp date of 11/3/1982, but have only had FEHB since 1/1/11. So the last “piece” of my requirement for retirement (and still have FEHB) is to complete my 5 yrs of FEHB coverage which I will have as on 1/1/2016. If the FED are offered “early outs” or “buy outs,” do they ever also “waive” the 5 yr of FEHB coverage requirement?

A: Waivers are usually granted if agencies are offering “buy-outs”, or as we feds call them, “VSIPs.” The following language is from the OPM website and indicates that you would not have to contact OPM for the waiver, but contact you agency instead.

If your agency has buyout authority, you may not need to write to the OPM. If you think you might qualify for a waiver of the 5-year coverage requirement, contact your Human Resources Office for information. If you meet the requirements, your agency will attach a memorandum to your retirement application stating that you meet the requirements for waiver by the OPM.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at johnfgrobe@comcast.net to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.