Monthly Archives: April, 2011

Disability retirement and an international move


Q: I am considering applying for disability due to a psychiatric condition. Does FERS disability retirement permit me to live outside of the United States while I receive my benefit? I would return for medical exams as required. A: There is no bar to your living outside of the United States or its territories. You may also receive your disability annuity payments there, as long as you aren’t living in one of the blocked countries. Currently, the blocked countries are Cuba, Cambodia and North Korea.

Unemployment and RIF


Q: I am a federal employee under CSRS. I will be affected by a reduction in force by the postal service and will be offered a buyout if I leave by the end of May. Can I apply for unemployment compensation until I find another job outside the postal service? A: If you aren’t eligible to retire when you leave, you may be entitled to unemployment compensation. If you are eligible to retire and do so, then it’s unlikely that you would be eligible. Since each state sets the criteria for unemployment compensation, once you have been separated, you’ll need…

Special pay rate and locality adjustment


Q: I am an employee at a VA hospital under the TCF program. I am a TCF intern, so I am on a special pay pate. With the elimination of the FCIP program that hired me, I have been converted to a permanent employee. Before the conversion I was getting paid an additional locality adjustment on top of my special pay rate, but now I am getting my special pay without the locality adjustment. Am I supposed to get an additional locality adjustment on top of my special pay, or should I only be receiving my special pay rate without…

Part time employment


Q: I have 20 years of full time service. I want to stay employed and plan to go part time. Will this have a serious negative impact on me? A: How significant it will be depends on the number of part-time hours you work and how long you do that. Go to and scroll down to the FERS section. There you’ll find the method used to compute an annuity that includes part-time service.

Early retirement


Q: I will turn 53 on June 10. My SCD is June 5, 1978. I have 33 years of federal service. I worked for the Air Force for the first 29 years. Then I was transferred to Defense Logistics Agency. We were told at that time that nothing would change. I have heard that the Air Force is submitting a survey in May asking how many federal Air Force employees would be interested in an early out. How might I get an offer for an early out? During the past years I missed out on two early outs, one because…

Proration and CSRS


Q: I am a CSRS employee. I worked part time for some of my career and when my retirement was estimated recently I was given a proration of 93 percent. I asked if 93 percent was a permanent value or if it changes if I work longer. I was told that the proration number is permanent. I’ve worked 33 years and anticipate that I will work at least 38. Can you confirm that my proration will stay at 93 percent? A: No it doesn’t stay at 93 percent. Whoever told you that didn’t understand basic arithmetic. The proration is determined…

Supplemental Social Security


Q: I am 57 with 28 years of civilian service under FERS. I have been paying Social Security. If I retire under VERA, what is the formula used to figure out the supplemental Social Security or special annuity supplements and how would they be received? A: You can get a rough estimate of what your special retirement supplement would be by suing the following formula: Your most recent Social Security estimate x your total years of FERS service rounded up to the next higher year ÷ 40.

Retirement and temporary service


Q: I am a FERS employee, and am planning to retire at minimum age (56) with 30 years. Now I am finding out that I will be eight months short of having the 30 years, because three years of my employment was temporary service, back in the early 80s. Is it possible for me to only buy back one of those three temp years or do I have to buy all or nothing? A: Depending on when that service was performed, it may not be possible. However, if it is — and you’ll have to check with your personnel office…

CSRS Offset and Social Security


Q: I am a civil service employee with 17 years of service, 10 during CSRS years and seven during CSRS Offset years. I have 30 years of other Social Security wages. My High-3 years are in the Offset years. I draw full Social Security while working. I began this at 66. I am trying to make a retirement decision but I cannot get a clear understanding of how the offset impacts me. I have gotten retirement projections but they do not include any adjustment for Social Security. It appears too good to be true that I will not experience a…

CSRS retirement


Q: I’m a 49-year-old federal employee with 28 years of service. I am anticipating there will be early out/buyouts coming soon. While I believe I can take either, given my 28 years of service, I would take a significant penalty for being younger than 55. Has there ever been an instance where if an agency becomes desperate to reduce the number of employees through an early out/buyout and does not meet the quota, would they accept an offer from an employee? For instance, I would gladly go if I did not get hit with the age penalty. If I made…

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