Q: I took the VER that was offered for postal clerks on Oct. 31, 2009. I have received three very small interim annuity checks since then. Processing is taking forever. I assume it will all come out in the wash. I am 60 with 25+ years in FERS. Will I receive the SRS? Do I have to make a special request either to OPM or to Social Security for that? Can I use the 26/40x the figure on my SSA statement to figure the amount? The statement I have is dated July 2009. In addition, I’ve had a part-time job for the past 20 years. I’ve been putting into Social Security there and I intend to keep working there part time for at least a few more years.
A: Because you took early voluntary retirement and have already reached your minimum retirement age, you are entitled to receive the special retirement supplement, which represents the Social Security benefit you earned while employed under FERS. That benefit will automatically be included in your FERS annuity, and will continue to age 62 unless you exceed the Social Security earnings limit, which is $14,160 in 2010. To estimate the amount of your SRS, take the Social Security benefit estimate provided to you by the Social Security Administration, multiply it by your total years of FERS service and divide by 40. You can also go to www.FEDbens.us and use the handy calculator you’ll find there.