[Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP for part time worker]

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[Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP for part time worker]

Post by Timetomakethedonuts » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:08 pm

[Moved into a stand-alone thread from: Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP --LadyGeek]

Long time lurker and first time poster here.
Motivated to register since I have many similar questions as the OP, with the exception that most of my questions revolve around being part time at the VA/federal worker

I also am a surgeon and I work at the VA. Currently full
Time with a 300k/year salary. I have been there for 4 years. I spent 2 years as part time (one year 0.4 another 0.6FTE). I am considering going back to part time to pursue some private practice opportunities.

My understanding is I need to retain at least 0.6FTE to continue to receive health benefits. Is this true?

My next question is - if the above is true- can one be 0.6 FTE for 5 years, leave the VA, and then continue to have the option to buy the health benefit with post tax dollars?

Finally, do part time years count toward the ability to collect the pension/annuity? Can I be part time for say 5 years and full time for 5 years and still be eligible for pension or is that for full time service only?

Thank you in advance for your help, expertise, and willingness to answer questions!

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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: [Federal Benefits Question - Annuity, TSP, FEHBP for part time worker]

Post by delamer » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:30 pm

Note that I don’t know if the VA has different policies than other federal agencies, so the below is based on the general civil service.

I believe the cutoff for obtaining health insurance is a minimum of 16 hours a week, but this is the only specific reference I could find: https://www.opm.gov/faqs/QA.aspx?fid=fd ... cd68d4a307

Note that the government contribution toward FEHB is lower the fewer hours you work.

As far as the pension is concerned, if you worked, for example, for 5 years at 20 hours per week and another 5 years at 40 hours per week then your pension would be 75% of that of someone who worked 10 years at 40 hours. So your pension is prorated based on hours, but a year of part-time counts as a year of service. (My pension is based on some part-time years and some full-time years.)

The only way to carry subsidized FEHB once you leave federal service is to retire with an annuity. You can use TCC to keep FEHB temporarily if you are not retiring: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... -retiring/

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