Monthly Archives: September, 2011

Penalty waiver

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Q: During times of personnel reductions in the past, have they ever offered to waive the 5-percent penalty for years under 62 for MRA+10? A: No. The age penalty requirement is set in law and there is no provison for a waiver.

Unused leave

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Q: I am a CSRS Air Force employee with more than 37 years of civil service. I am considering retiring on Dec. 31. Can I cash in more than 30 days annual leave when I retire, or do I need to use everything over 30 days annual leave prior to my retirement date to keep from losing it? Will the payment of annual leave be paid in the 2012 tax year? Would I qualify for the buyouts the Air Force is about to offer with the same retirement benefits as if I retired Dec. 31? A: As long as you…

Retirement in 2011

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Q: I’m reading a Reg Jones column for 2006. I cannot find a similar article discussing retirement at the end of 2011. A: Read my July 25 column, entitled “By the calendar, 2011 marks a good year to retire.”

Separated after a year

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Q: If I am recently separated (voluntarily) from the civil service after 13 months and have not purchased my military time for retirement purposes, can I still submit the paperwork to buy back that time and be eligible for some FERS benefits at age 62? A: No. Only an employee can do that. FYI: You would have to have worked for five years as a FERS employee to be eligible for an annuity. Bought back time wouldn’t count.

Early retirement and Social Security

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Q: I will be 55 in September and I’m trying to retire when I’m 56. I have worked for the federal government for 26 years and I am under FERS retirement. My agency is offering the voluntary retirement until September and it has been offering this for the past five years. I hope this early voluntary retirement will be offered next year when I reach 56. It is my understanding that if my agency is offering the voluntary retirement, I don’t have to reduce my FERS retirement at the 5 percent rate for each year. Is this correct? My other …

Survivor annuity eligibility

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Q: My father passed away a couple of months ago and my stepmother is waiting to receive the FEGLI and annuity packets from OPM. Per my father’s FERS paperwork, he left my stepmother, my brother (deceased) and I (adult child) as his beneficiaries. However, per all the survivor’s information on the OPM website, only children with disabilities, attending college or under the age of 18 are eligible. Is this true? A: Any Federal Employees Group Life Insurance benefits will be divided according to your father’s designation of beneficiaries. However, while your stepmother would be entitled to a survivor annuity, to…

VERA questions

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Q: I am a 53-year-old FERS employee with 34 years of service, 10 active military (bought back time), plus 24 years FERS time. If offered voluntary early retirement, will I get 34 percent of my final salary in retirement pay? And will I be eligible for the Social Security supplement? If so, how do I calculate it? 24/40 estimated full Social Security amount? Can I  make substantially equal withdrawals from my TSP account at age 53 without penalty, assuming I do an early-out retirement? A: You would receive 1 percent of your high-3 for every year of creditable service (1/12…

Computing new pay rate

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Q: I work for postal service as a PS-06 mail processing bargaining clerk with a base rate of $53,102. I have been offered an Inspection Service ISLE 09 position (equivalent to a GS-09) that will include a locality pay of 24.22 percent. As far as I know, as a bargaining employee who gets an EAS promotion, the salary schedule would receive a 5 percent increase to my existing bargaining-unit salary. In my case, the new base pay rate would be $55,757. So how would the locality pay be computed? Would it be new base pay rate of $55,757 + 24.22…

No age deduction

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Q: I am a FERS employee. My personnel record says I am eligible to retire in 2015. I have paid into retirement from my military time and in November 2015 I will have 26 years of service and be age 60. Will I get penalized for not going to age 62? A: No. Because you have at least 20 years of creditable service and will retire at age 60, you won’t be subject to the age-based reduction in your annuity.

No retirement at 50

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Q: I’m a FERS employee. At 50 years of age I will have 25 years of working for the federal government. If I retire then, what will be the penalty? If I was to leave at 50, but would not apply for my pension until I was 55, would there still be a penalty? Would my pension be 50 percent of my best five years?(25 years X 2 percent = 50 percent)? A: You can’t retire at age 50. The earliest you could retire would be when you reach your minimum retirement age. MRAs range between 55 an 57, depending…

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