Monthly Archives: December, 2011

Partial annuity

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Q. I am A CSRS employee who is retiring Dec. 31 and wish to elect a partial annuity for my husband. He’s a retired civil service employee and receives his own pension. We’ve decided that about 25 percent of my annuity would be sufficient for him. However, on the Application for Immediate Retirement Form, Section F, it seems that I can only elect 55 percent of a fixed dollar amount. If I do this, say 55 percent of 50,000 per year ($27,500), would this amount still be indexed for future cost-of-living adjustments, or would it always remain at $27,500? I’ve asked the retirement…

Buyout rules

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Q. I am a Civil Service Retirement System postal employee. I am eligible for optional retirement in December 2011. Are there any incentives available, or are they only for early retirement? A. If your agency offered you an opportunity to retire early or a buyout, you would be free to accept it.

Unresolved CSRS contribution balance

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Q. I am getting ready to retire at the end of December after 37 years with the Civil Service Retirement System. In 1986, the Office of Personnel Management converted to a new system and I had a rather large balance in CSRS contributions. We noticed that our balance went to zero when the new pay stubs were issued. They told us not to worry back then and the money would be added back in when we retired. My current LES shows again a large amount of contributions. I asked the human resources office about a document that combined both balances,…

Social Security reduction

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Q. I am in the Federal Employees Retirement System and will retire Dec. 31. I will be 62 when I retire, with 41 years of service. Because Social Security is part of my retirement, will my Social Security checks be reduced if I work and earn more than the max allowed? A. Yes. Your Social Security benefit would be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn through wages or self-employment until the year in which you reach your full retirement age. At that point, the reduction would be $1 for every $3 you earn. There is no limit to…

Best month to retire

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Q. What is the best month and day to retire? I should have 240 hours at the end of December, which could be carried over to the next year. If I retire in December, would I not only receive the 240 hours but 208 for the next year. If I retire Jan. 1 of the next year, would I receive the 240 in the hole plus the 208 I would accrue for the new year? I am trying to get 400 hours. How can I do this? I know it takes a while for the retirement benefits to arrive and I…

Dental and vision coverage

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Q. I am voluntarily retiring Dec. 31 with full benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System. I understand that my health insurance will continue to be covered with the same amount paid by Uncle Sam as was covered when I was working. I have heard that dental and vision insurance will not receive the same amount matched in retirement. Do I have to pay the full amount for these extra plans in retirement? A. Enrollees in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program, whether employees or retirees, pay the full cost of premiums. There isn’t any government contribution.

Annual leave payout

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Q. I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee who will be retiring Dec. 31. I currently have 360 hours of CY2010 carryover leave (based on my overseas assignment). I also have 120 hours of use or lose for CY2011, for a total of 480 hours. When I retire, will I get annual leave payout for 480 hours? A. Yes.

Social Security credits and annual leave

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Q. I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee planning to retire Dec. 31. I will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave in 2012. I understand that this payment will be subject to federal and state (where applicable) taxes but that other deductions (health care, retirement and Thrift Savings Plan contributions) are not taken. Do I have the option to have a Social Security contribution taken from this payment? (I need seven credits to get to 40 credits/[quarters]) and this would seemingly represent an opportunity to acquire four of them if it is an available option). Is there…

Final paycheck

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Q. If I retire on Dec. 31 with 30 years at age 57 with a buyout, when will I receive my final paycheck, lump-sum buyout payment and my first FERS retirement annuity and supplement pay? A. Only your agency payroll office can tell you when you’ll receive your final paycheck and lump-sum buyout payment. And only the Office of Personnel Management knows when you’ll receive your first annuity interim payment, which won’t include the special retirement supplement. You’ll only get that when you receive your first full annuity payment, which will include any amounts you are owed for both benefits. There…

20 years or 21?

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Q. I am a Postal Service employee whose retirement comp date is Feb. 6, 1991. I also have four years of military service credit. I would like to retire Dec. 30. But I am confused by how my total years of service are calculated. I should have 711 hours of sick leave accrued, so at 50 percent of that, my calculations are that I will have more than enough hours to get my total years of service to 21 instead of 20. However, I read somewhere that any months that you work fewer than 30 days are thrown out. So…

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