Monthly Archives: April, 2010

Active-duty, reserve time toward retirement

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Q: I have eight years of active-duty service and 10 years with the reserves. What part of that time counts toward the Federal Employees Retirement System? I was also recalled to active duty for an eight-month period and want to know whether I can add all this time. A: Your active-duty service in the armed forces will only count if you make a deposit to the civilian retirement fund. You have already received credit for any two-week periods of annual active duty for training, which for leave purposes have been treated as if you were still on the job. Reserve…

Survivor benefits for dual-federal couples

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Q: My husband retired under the Civil Service Retirement System Offset program and had a 55 percent survivor benefit for me. I am Federal Employees Retirement System employee, and I will be retiring in three years with the maximum survivor benefit for him. Whoever dies first, will the other one receive survivor benefits and will the survivor’s other federal benefits be reduced by how much they receive from the deceased? A: There wouldn’t be any reduction. You would be able to receive both your own annuity and the survivor benefit provided by your deceased spouse.

Firefighter considering new post

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Q: I was employed as a GS-081 firefighter on Dec. 30, 1984, at age 20. I have met my retirement eligibility of 25 years. First, will my entire 26 or so years of experience be calculated at the special provision (firefighter) rate, or just the first 20? Second, I am in the process of taking a part-time position with the Transportation Security Administration: If I accept the job, I assume it will not affect my Federal Employees Retirement System benefits, as long as I do not leave the firefighter job, correct? Third, if I consider a full-time TSA position, would…

Health care for family's future (updated)

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Q: I am covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System and plan to retire at age 56 (my minimum retirement age) with 34 years of service. I will have met the five-year qualification for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. I intend to keep a family FEHB plan in retirement to cover myself, my wife and my daughter. At my retirement, I will elect survivor benefits for my wife so she can continue to use my FEHB plan if I die before her. When I turn 65, my wife will be 56 and my daughter will be 19. I understand…

Social Security and CSRS

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Q: I am a veteran who paid into Social Security while in service for seven years; I am now retired from federal service under the Civil Service Retirement System. Will I be entitled to Social Security payments? A: You will only be entitled to a Social Security benefit if you have earned 40 credits, which takes 10 years of covered earnings. Note: If you are eventually entitled to a Social Security benefit, you will be impacted by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system in…

Setting up a survivor annuity

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Q: My 76-year-old mother got married last year to a 76-year-old man. After they got married, they were getting about $5,000 a month from his Civil Service Retirement System annuity and about $1,500 a month from her Social Security. Sadly, he had a massive heart attack two weeks ago and passed away. They had been married 11 months. This gentleman had told my mother that he had named her as the beneficiary of his survivor annuity and that she would receive about $3,000 a month if he died first. Will my mother’s $1,500-per-month Social Security be affected by this annuity?…

Expert appointments and retirement

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Q: I voluntarily retired after 37 1/2 years with the Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 3, 2007, under the Civil Service Retirement System. From July 2007 to Dec. 6, 2009, I served as a contractor to the Health and Human Services Department. I was then hired as a full-time employee. Human resources made a mistake and did not offset my annuity until March 2010. As a result, this left me with only $38 in net pay and a debt of $15K because my salary was not offset. HHS wants me to continue to provide my services so they offered to…

Unused leave

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Q: As a federal civil service employee in the Defense Department, I usually have several days of use/lose annual leave at the end of the year. Rather than taking off almost the entire month of December to avoid losing accrued annual leave, am I allowed to sell back the unused leave? A: There is no provision in law that would allow you to be paid for unused annual leave that exceeds the carryover amount from one leave year to the next.

Survivor benefits and annuities

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Q: For my spouse to continue to be covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program after I retire from federal service and after my death, which type of annuity should I select? My spouse does not want to receive a survivor annuity and will consent to sign an attachment to SF 2801-2, Spouse’s Consent to Survivor Election, but he needs the FEHB coverage. A: He can’t be covered under the FEHB program unless he is receiving a survivor annuity. However, as a Civil Service Retirement System employee, with your husband’s written consent, you could elect to give him any…

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