The main sponsor of legislation to allow federal retirees to pay Federal Employees Health Benefits program premiums with pre-tax money, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., is arguing that the benefit is “critical” to retirees. Davis, chair of the House Government Reform Committee, has been the main sponsor of efforts to get premium conversion extended to retirees since that arrangement was allowed for active employees in late 2000.

Under the current tax code (Section 125), retirees are not eligible for premium conversion, in either the public or private sectors.