Q. On 11/29/2003, I was forced to retire involuntary from the Department of the Navy as a result of a reduction in force. I was a FERS annuitant and received an annuity. On 3/8/2004, I was rehired as a re-employment annuitant with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). When starting my new job at new agency, the human resources office placed me in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Each of my paychecks saw a deduction to contribute to FERS and I also contributed an amount to the Thrift Savings Plan. The HR office also sent me a letter to state that according to OPM guidelines, my annuity will continue; however, my salary will be offset by the amount of my annuity.
On 2/4/2010, after six years working with this agency, I decide to retire and I submitted a retirement application (SF3107) to OPM for my new retirement benefits. I sent my retirement application to the DeCA human resources office. I know, as a FERS rehired annuitant, that if I work full time with my new job for more than five years, I may have my entire annuity recomputed. On 3/11/2010, I received an e-mail from the person who works in the DeCA HR office telling me that there is a problem with my retirement code that I am currently under, and also telling me that apparently when I was re-employed, I may not have been accessed correctly.
On 3/23/2010, I received a letter from the DeCA Supervisor of Human Resources office. The letter stated that when I was rehired, the agency made an error to place me in the FERS and I should have been placed in Social Security only (FICA). It also stated that the new law in section 9902 of title 5 United State Code starting Nov. 24, 2003 said that re-employed annuitants within DoD are not considered employees.
Now, the DeCA agency office will not forward my application to OPM and they are processing to refund my FERS retirement and my TSP contribution money. After six years working, it is a big shock to learn that I am not qualified for retirement benefits and lose all my TSP matching contribution money with DeCA.
1.The agency admits their errors to put me in the wrong retirement system, FERS, instead of FICA. This error has been lasting for six years. Am I qualified for retirement coverage error? Should OPM allow me to have an option to choose to stay with FERS instead changing back to FICA?
2. Should the section 9902 of title 5 apply to my case because:
– I was forced to retire involuntary as a reduction in force and I received a job offer through the Priority Placement Program.
– I was hired by the Navy in 1986 and rehired on 3/8/2004 by DoD.
A. Your situation is one that would have to be resolved under Public Law 106-265, the Federal Erroneous Enrollment Coverage Corrections Act. FERCCA information is available st 888-767-6738 or online at www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fercca/index.asp. I suggest that you start there to discover if your agency has reached the right conclusion. Whether it has or not, you can explore the options available to you.