Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

MRA requirement

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Q. I am a federal employee with 23 years of service and have just turned 56 years old (my MRA). If I am involuntarily separated before I have a year in under my MRA, will I be able to opt to continue my Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which I have carried my entire career, with the government continuing to pay the portion it has always paid? What if I choose to take an early retirement before I have a year in under my MRA?

A. I have no idea what you are talking about when you mention needing to have a year in under your MRA. There is no such requirement. If you are involuntarily separated, you have the age (at least 50) and the service (at least 20 years) to retire. And, because you have been enrolled in FEHB for the five consecutive years before you retire, you can keep that coverage in retirement, with you and the government sharing the premium costs, just as you did when you were an employee.

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