Are you leaving Federal service before you are eligible to retire? This information explains what will happen to your benefits, and what actions you may need to take to continue your benefits.
First, determine if you are eligible to retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Please see the appropriate pamphlet for the age and service requirements for retirement:
Information for Separating FERS Employees
Information for Separating CSRS Employees
If you meet eligibility for retirement, please contact your servicing Benefits Specialist (PDF) at because the following information will not apply to you if you are retiring.
Not retiring? Then read on:
SICK LEAVE - If you had any sick leave to your credit at the time of separation, this amount may be re-credited to you if you re-enter Federal service under a leave-earning appointment.
ANNUAL LEAVE - You will be paid a lump sum for any unused annual leave. If you are re-employed in the Federal Service under the same leave system before the date the leave would be exhausted, you must refund the annual leave lump sum for the overlapping period.
REINSTATEMENT ELIGIBILITY - All career employees and veteran-preference eligible employees who are employed under career-conditional appointments have lifetime reinstatement eligibility to any position for which they qualify. Non-veteran career-conditional employees have reinstatement eligibility only for 3 years from the date of separation. Excepted service employees do not have reinstatement eligibility.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION - The SF-8, Notice to Federal Employee about Unemployment Insurance, will be provided for you to present to the state employment office if you apply for unemployment benefits. The SF-8, along with your SF-50B, Notification of Personnel Action, provides the state office with information to verify your employment.
HEALTH INSURANCE - If you are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, you will receive a package from Human Resources Operations after your separation action has been processed. The package will contain the SF-2810, Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment, and information to convert to a private policy, or to elect temporary continuation of coverage (TCC). TCC enrollees pay the full premium (both the employee and Government share of the premium, plus a 2% administrative charge). For information about TCC, see http://www.opm.gov/insure/federal_employ/index.asp?AnswerId=66
DENTAL OR VISION INSURANCE - If you are covered by the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), coverage ends when your employment ends. There is no extension of coverage or conversion opportunity for this insurance plan.
LIFE INSURANCE - If you are covered by the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, you will receive a package from the Human Resources Operations after your separation action has been processed. The package will contain the forms and instructions you will need to convert your life insurance to a private policy.
THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) - If you have a TSP account, go to the TSP website to find out about the withdrawal options available to you: https://www.tsp.gov/planparticipation/withdrawals/accountOptions.shtml
FSAFEDS - Your coverage under the Federal Flexible Spending Accounts (for Health Care or for Dependent Care) terminates when you leave Government service. If you have been covered by the FSAFEDS this year, be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/SummaryOfBenefits.asp#Retiree regarding submitting claims after separation from Federal service or you may call 1-877-372-3337.
FEDERAL LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE - If you have been paying for Federal Long Term Care Insurance premiums through payroll deductions, be sure call LTCFEDS at 1-800-582-3337, to change your payment method. Your coverage remains in effect as long as you pay the premiums.
QUESTIONS? Additional questions about benefits that are not answered above? Contact your servicing Benefits Specialist or Assistant (PDF).
(For employees of USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the Merit Systems Protection Board)