Monthly Archives: June, 2011

Dropping coverage

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Q: I have Medicare, Tricare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage and was told that I should drop my BCBS and I would have the same coverage without the extra expense. What say you? A: While I’m not in a position to advise you, I can tell you that many retirees with Tricare and Medicare Parts A & B have suspended – not dropped – their FEHB coverage and are satisfied with the results. By suspending your coverage, you  protect your right to re-enroll if you lose Tricare coverage.

Offset deductions

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Q: Can I be charged offsets on Social Security and CSRS? A: Yes. Your CSRS annuity will be offset by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while employed under CSRS Offset. Your Social Security benefit will be reduced if you have fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

Early-out option

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Q: I am a federal employee with just more than 29 years of service. I am 56 and I am under CSRS. If offered, I will take the early-out in December. What will happen to my sick leave? A: Any unused sick leave hours will be added to any hours of actual work that don’t add up to a full month. Any additional months created will be added to your actual service and used in the computation of your annuity. For retirement purposes, those months are 174 hours long. Any hours left over will be dropped.

Changing jobs

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Q: I have been employed as an 1811 criminal investigator since May 3, 1982. I am 55 and I am still employed in this capacity. However, with mandatory retirement looming in less than two years, I am interviewing for other jobs, some of which are not 1811 positions.  Based on my time in grade, I am vested in the federal law enforcement retirement system, and I maintained my CSRS retirement plan. If offered a non-1811 position, would it be more beneficial to retire and take a job? Or, because of my time in grade as an 1811, does that matter?…

Retirement date

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Q: As of June 21 I completed 44 years of government service. All my retirement contributions are in CSRS. Tentatively, I am planning on retiring July 3, 2012, unless circumstances change, then I would need to revise my retirement date accordingly. Would it be to my benefit to work another six months in 2012, or retire at the end of 2011? A: While I can’t offer you advice, I can provide you with some information that may help you make a decision. When you accumulated 41 years and 11 months of creditable service, you reached the maximum allowable earned annuity…

Waiving military retired pay

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Q: I’m retired military and am making a deposit to get credit for my 20 years of active duty service. I’ve been told that at the same time I make the deposit I also have to waive my military retired pay. Is that correct? I thought I could wait to waive my retired pay until I retired. A: According to OPM, an employee doesn’t have to waive his or her military retired pay at the time he makes a deposit. Instead, he or she “must send the waiver request directly to the Defense Finance and Accounting Office at least 90 days but not later than 60 days before…

Annuity after re-employment

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Q: I took an immediate retirement at age 51 under the law enforcement provision of CSRS with 30 years of service. Mandatory retirement is age 57. After one month, I returned to federal service in a term position as a re-employed annuitant with a dual compensation waiver (pension plus salary). My term position may expire in the next 12 months. Can I forgo my CSRS pension and compete for a law enforcement position again? Assuming the new position is a promotion over my last permanent position, would my CSRS pension be recalculated upon my final retirement? Would I be obligated…

Just one buyout

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Q: I am in CSRS Offset. I received a VERA/VSIP buyout in 2001 and returned to work in 2008. I am 56 and have 28 years of federal service. I indicated on the recent survey that I would accept a buyout if offered. I am now told that I am ineligible for a buyout because a person can only receive one buyout in their lifetime. Is there any regulation that states an employee can only receive one buyout? A: Your agency is correct. For confirmation, go to www.opm.gov/employ/html/vsi.htm.

Returning to service

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Q: I worked for the Navy as a GS-11 for five years but left in 1991. I have an SF-50 that says “completed service requirement for Career Tenure from 07-17-88 to 07-17-91.” However, I actually started with the Navy on Aug. 28, 1986 and my resignation papers have an effective date of Sept. 24, 1991. I’m hoping to return to federal service but want to know if I am eligible for any future retirement benefits. A: If you completed at least five years of creditable service and didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions in the retirement fund when…

Retirement application

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Q: I am an Air Force AFMC civilian employee and I plan to retire by Sept. 30. I have been holding my application pending AFMC’s possibility of offering buyout incentives (VSIP) to eligible retirees. Do I have to wait until a VSIP is offered before I submit my retirement application to OPM? A: Yes. The purpose of a buyout incentive is to encourage employees to retire, not to reward those who have decided and submitted retirement papers.

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