Monthly Archives: September, 2010

FERS

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Q. Am I entitled to any annuity pay or retirement pay from the federal government? I was employed from July 1, 1989 until June 30, 2000 under FERS. A. If you left and you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you would be entitled to a deferred annuity at age 62. That annuity would be based on your years and full months of service and your highest three consecutive years of average salary on the day you left government. If you did take a refund, you wouldn’t be entitled to anything.

Leave without pay time limits

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Q. Is there a time limit on leave without pay status, before an employee is subject to termination? A. Leave-without- pay can only be taken with your agency’s approval. As a rule, an upper limit is set, after which date an employee is expected to return to duty. While an extension can be granted, an agency isn’t required to do so. Failure to return to work when a period of LWOP expires can trigger an adverse action, which could lead to an employee’s termination.

Locality pay

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Q. What year was “locality pay” started and used along with “base pay” to figure FERS employees annuities, and will the annuity increase each year if locality pay increases?  Do CSRS retirees have locality pay figured in their annuities as well? A. The Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act was signed into law in 1990 and the locality pay portion was effective thereafter for CSRS and FERS employees. Locality pay is included only in employee salaries. When an employee retires, his annuity will be computed using his three highest consecutive years of average basic pay, which includes locality pay. Once retired, any increases in…

FERS and reserve military retirement

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Q. I served 14 years active duty in the military and got out under Higher Tenure for which I received Involuntary Separation Pay. Now I’m receiving 40 percent disability from the VA, and in the reserves and planning on retiring from there once I reach 20 years. In addition, I just started working for the VA, and planning on buying back my military time. Can I receive retirement from both the VA and the reserves? How early can I retire from the VA? And how is the Involuntary Separation Pay and the disability affect all of this? A. Yes, if…

Relocating while receiving workman's compensation

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Q. I am currently on LWOP and receiving compensation through the Office of Workers; Compensation. I am employed by the Department of Labor, and am 60 years old.  I have applied for Social Security benefits for the purpose of applying for federal disability retirement, which I did approximately one month ago.  I would like to know if I can relocate while in my present status and how do I learn if my application for retirement is accepted? A. You are free to relocate while your application for benefits is being adjudicated. However, you’ll need to make sure that your agency, OWCP,…

Involuntary retirement

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Q. I am currently 48 years of age with 30 years of federal service.  I am covered under the FERS retirement system.  If I am unable to meet the conditions of my employment, I will be suspended indefinitely.  Unfortunately, my organization does not offer reassignments to other positions, so I would be faced with being involuntarily separated.  If this involuntary separation occurs, would I be eligible for early retirement without penalty because I have 30 years of service? A. Yes, if you are involuntarily separated because such things as unacceptable performance or failure to continue to meet the qualification requirements of…

GPO and Social Security

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Q. I am turning 67 and planning to apply for Social Security benefits based on my own record of more than 37 years.  I currently am receiving a CSRS annuity from my deceased husband who died in February 1982 while still working.  Will the GPO affect my Social Security benefit amount? A. No, it will not. The government pension offset applies only to the Social Security benefit of someone who is receiving an earned annuity from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes.

Retirement incentives

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Q. I am thinking of retiring on Jan. 1. If, by chance, incentives for retirement were given at our base at the end of this year, would I still be given it if I had already sent my paperwork in? A. Not likely. The purpose of cash incentives is to encourage people to retire who had not planned to do so, not to reward those who have already made that decision.

LWOP in CSRS annuity computation

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Q. had two brief periods of LWOP early in my career. Each was less than six months and neither was in the same calendar year. I am now planning to retire in the next year with over 36 years of service, but am unclear whether the LWOP periods will be subtracted from my Service Computation Date. I was always under the impression these periods would count toward my annuity computation because I was never on LWOP for anything close to six months in any calendar year.  Then I read that in making the final annuity calculation, OPM deducts “any” periods…

Retirement benefits

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Q. My husband is former military (active duty from 1977-1991) and is entering civil service in a GS position.  Will he be under the FERS or CSRS system?  The formula for calculating the buyback or credit is very different under the two. A. He will be under FERS. No one who is first hired after December 31, 1983, is covered by CSRS.

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