Monthly Archives: March, 2010

FERS disability retirement at age 62

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Q. I had to retire from FERS on disability with 26 years and 9 months at the age of 53. The first year I got around $2,650 monthly from OPM. A year later I did get my Social Security at $1,788 per month and $1,195 monthly from OPM . Could you tell me what I will get at age 62? My average high 3 years were $59,755.00. Minimum retirement age was 56. Could you break this down for me? A. I can’t tell you what the breakdown will be. I can give you the formula used. Here it is. During…

Sick leave at retirement

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Q. I’m in CSRS with the Postal Service. At retirement, will my annuity be credited at 174 hours of sick leave per month or is my total sick leave balance added to my actual service time and rounded down to the month? A. As a CSRS employee, when you retire, your hours of unused sick leave will be added to your actual service time. Any combination of actual hours and sick leave hours that add up to 174 will increase your final service time by one month. Any leftover days will be dropped.

FERS redeposit

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Q. Have you heard when OPM might come up with some guidelines regarding FERS redeposit? When I try to contact OPM, they just say there are no guidelines yet and to contact your agency’s retirement section. When I contact my agency’s retirement section, they say OPM doesn’t have any guidelines yet. So my question is, any idea when we might hear something? A. I don’t have a firm date. However, effective immediately, OPM is accepting the current FERS Application to Make a Deposit, SF 3108, from employees wanting to make a FERS redeposit. You must indicate on the application that…

Retired widower and marriage

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Q. Please help. My boyfriend, who is a widower, and I would like to get married. He is a retired federal employee for five years under CSRS and I am under the CSRS system but have not retired. He is concerned because someone has told him he has to pay “catch up” so that I can have the 55 percent death benefit as his spouse. What does “catchup” mean? Please give me the regulation that covers this as we are both concerned about our future. In addition, he is 80 years old and I am 63, and we are both…

Gauging retirement benefits

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Q. The windfall elimination provision and government pension offset are so difficult to understand. Can you help? My husband will soon be retiring at age 62 after 21 years under FERS. I am 52, but hope to leave service ahead of retirement. I currently have the following: * 52 quarters of substantial Social Security contributions, including three years under CSRS Offset. * Three years under CSRS Offset (2007-2009). * 12 years under FSPS (Pre-1983 Foreign Service Retirement system) (1982-1994). * Seven years under an international employer where I did not pay Social Security (1994-1999; 2005-2007) Can you help me determine…

CSRS vs. FERS

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Q. I entered into federal service in 1983 under CSRS and left in 1986 after three years in order to go into graduate school. I was told I could leave my retirement money in the CSRS system and come back in later and I would be able to continue as before with that system. When I came back into federal service in 1991 I was presented with a refund check and told essentially “sorry, but you’re in FERS now”. Is this correct? Didn’t they change the rules while I was gone? A. What you were told at the time was…

CSRS survivor annuity

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Q. My father passed away in 2001 and he retired under the CSRS plan in April 1983. My mother has been receiving a CSRS survivor annuity. This year the tax preparer is saying that her annuity is tax-free based on the contribution my father made into the CSRS. I’m a little confused because since her 2001 tax record no one has ever said her annuity was tax-free. Why are they saying it now? Her 1099 reflect the employee contribution amount, but also shows the taxable amount as unknown. I have tried to research the IRS pubs, but the formulas to…

New health care law

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Q. Does the new health care law that allows for dependents up to 26 years of age to remain covered under certain conditions apply to the dental and vision plans offered to federal employees? A. The answer to this and many other questions relating to the new health care law have yet to be worked out between now and when the law becomes effective for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program on Jan. 1, 2011. In the meantime, we’ll all have to be patient.

Medicare Part B

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Q. Why does Medicare become one’s primary insurer when they reach 65? I am a retired federal employee with FEHB, which becomes secondary at that age. Is Medicare better? A. Medicare becomes primary because the law requires it. The law applies to anyone who is retired and enrolled in Medicare. It does not apply to those age 65 or older who are still employed. In their case, any private or public health insurance they have remains primary and Medicare secondary. Note: While you have already paid for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) through payroll deduction, whether or not you enroll…

Retirement benefits

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Q. I am a FERS employee, age 51 with 12 years civilian service. I have never been in the military. I currently receive from PERS my late husband’s nontaxable disability retirement. When I do retire, will this affect my FERS and/or Social Security? Does this count against me? Can I have PERS, FERS, Social Security and TSP annuity in retirement? A. I can tell you that you will be entitled to the FERS annuity you earned, any Social Security benefit based on your own record, and your TSP account, without any modification. What I don’t know is if any of…

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