Q. I am currently on FERS disability and also receiving Social Security disability. My spouse works under the Railroad Retirement Board retirement system. My Social Security checks are paid through the RRB. We were told by OPM that for FERS there is no deduction offset on my FERS retirement from the Social Security formula (60 percent times high-3) because payout is through the railroad board. Do you know anything about this and is this correct?
A. Unfortunately, while I’m not acquainted with the rules governing the Railroad Retirement Board, I do know that your Social Security checks can’t be coming from them. The Social Security Administration pays benefits directly, never through another party. Further, because you are a FERS disability retiree, the law governing your annuity are straightforward. During your first 12 months, you’ll receive 60 percent of your high-3 minus 100 percent of of any Social Security disability benefit. After the first 12 months, you’ll receive 40 percent of your high-3 minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. I’m not aware of any provision of law that would allow you to receive both benefits in full.