Monthly Archives: November, 2011

CSRS Survivor Annuity


Q. I retired in 1995 and am receiving a pension under CSRS rules;  I was single at the time.  In 2002 I married my wife and, under the rules at the time, I elected to provide her a survivor annuity.   She has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and may not survive as long as I will.  If she dies before I do, does my pension revert to the amount I received prior to the election of the survivor annuity?  If so, how would my pension be recalculated? A. The standard reduction you took in your annuity to…

Calculating interest on the military deposit


Q. In making the military deposit, we have two years from the time it is due to make the payment without interest. After that, interest accrues until payment. Does the interest accrual start from the initial time it is owed (separation from military service), or does the interest accrual start at the end of the two-year interest-free mark? A. It starts at the end of the interest-free period. There isn’t any look back.

Windfall elimination provision


Q. I retired as a CSRS offset employee.  My entire federal pension is based solely on nine-plus years under CSRS offset.  I paid Social Security taxes during those years.  I have no pension for any years in which I did not pay Social Security taxes.  Social Security now wants to impose a windfall elimination provision reduction of $143 a month.  Since I paid Social Security taxes on my government earnings while paying CSRS offset I do not think WEP should apply. A. To be exempt from the windfall elimination provision, you would have to have 30 years of substantial earnings…

FERS LEO retirement options


Q. I have been an 1811 under covered positions for 15 years. I also have bought back years of active-duty time.   My organization is discussing offering a Discontinued Service Retirement.  If offered this retirement would I receive: 15 years x 0.017 (25.5) x average of high three plus 10 years x 0.01 (10) x average of high three  or a total of 35.5 percent of high three plus 50 percent of my sick leave time applied to length of covered time. (This is only a couple of months – 600 hours). A. Yes and no. While you would receive half credit…

Buyout and LWOP


Q. Does leave without pay status affect the possibility for buyout?  Does LWOP status affect retirement calculations? A. Buyouts are targeted at positions or units where an agency wants to encourage employees to leave. If one were offered to you, the fact that you are on LWOP wouldn’t affect your ability to accept it. LWOP only affects your retirement calculation if it exceeds six months in any calendar year. No credit is given for LWOP in excess of six months.

Military buyback


Q. I was honorably discharged after nine years of active military service (1988 through 1997).  Upon separation, I received a voluntary separation under the provisions of the Special Separation Benefit.  Through this program, I received a lump-sum payment of $38,000 in 1997.  I believe this is considered retirement pay.  I have just received an employment offer for a GS position.  Is it possible for me to repay my SSB separation benefit and the deposit amount for my military pay to receive creditable military service time in the Federal Civilian Service?   Under FERS, I believe I am required to repay 3…



Q.  As a career postal carrier, I understand that I am not immune to the “no layoff” clause of the national agreement since I have less than six years of service, nor am I eligible for early retirement. Would the Postal Service consider offering  voluntary layoff  buyouts for someone in my situation? Have they ever offered such buyouts in the past? A. There is no provision in law that would permit the payment of buyouts for that purpose.

Disability retirement and redeposit


Q. I am a CSRS employee and withdrew all pension contributions in 1995 after 15  years of service.  No redeposit has been made.  I now have another 15 years of continuous service since that withdrawal and I am now 57  years old. If a redeposit is not made:  (1) Since I am over 55 with more than 30 years of service, can I receive a disability retirement if approved or must I take a regular retirement; and (2) what is the impact on the annuity for a disability retirement (assuming it would be authorized and approved), if no redeposit is…

Postal Service/Civil Service retirement


Q. I spent  three years as a postal service mail handler.  During the last year (2001),  I became permanent employee  I was a part-time FLEX before.  I resigned  from the Postal Service and took a private sector job.  I  was offered a GS position in 2007 . I have been in this position  from 2007 to the present. Can I count the three years of Postal Service time toward my retirement? A. Only service for which retirement deductions were taken from your pay would be creditable for retirement purposes.

Retirement date


Q.  I am CSRS, turned 61 years old in September, and  have 40 years of unbroken service. I’ve tentatively selected June 2012, as my retirement month but would appreciate information on the most opportune day (or an alternate month if that’s more beneficial). A. All I can suggest is that you pick a date that 1) falls at the end of a pay period and 2) is as close to the end of the month as possible. By retiring at the end of a pay period, you will get credit for any annual and sick leave you  earned during that…

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