Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Fit for duty

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Q: I have worked in government since April 15, 1991, and in December of that year had an on-the-job accident. I have endured four surgeries since then and the doctors want me to have a fifth. It’s now up to OWCP on the direction to go. I have been on light duty for more than a year, and my employers want to resolve this, including getting me to volunteer to retire, medical retire or even do a fit for duty. I have four more years before I am 57,and I prefer to stick it out, but if I choose to…

Eligible but holding

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Q: I am a 57-year-old CSRS employee with 35 1/2 years creditable service. I am eligible to retire now (since June 21, 2009) but enjoy the challenge of my job, so I have stayed on. I gave serious consideration to retiring Dec. 31, 2011, but I am not 100 percent certain that is what I want to do (my wife wants to work a while longer). Am I running a risk of losing any benefits by staying a while longer? What is the minimum amount of time required after mailing my retirement application, and the effective date I retire? A:…

Insurance for spouse

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Q: When do I have to put my wife under my health insurance? She is still working and doesn’t plan to retire for a couple of more years. I plan to retire next year. Do I have to insure her before I retire, while I am still working for the VA, or can I wait till she retires and loses her insurance to put her under my health insurance after I retire? A: You could change your coverage from self to self and family when she loses her nonfederal coverage. The authority for that is Code 2G under OPM’s Table…

Eligibility for unemployment

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Q: I am retired military with 29 years of service on April 1, 2010. I have been employed in the Defense Department lab demo program since April 12, 2010. Have an SCD leave date of Dec. 13, 1990, SCD Civ of April 4, 2010 and SCD RIF of April 12, 2010. If given a notice of involuntary separation by my agency, will I be eligible for unemployment? Where can I find more details? A: You’ll have to check with your state unemployment office.

Retirement date

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Q: I plan to retire the last day in February. Is that a good time to retire? I was going to retire Dec. 31, 2011, but had to change the date. A: For most agencies, Feb. 25, 2012, was the end of a pay period. By retiring on the last day of February, you’d be getting credit for the annual and sick leave earned during that pay period plus three additional days of pay and service credit. You’d also be on the annuity roll the following day.

Social Security offset

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Q: I know if a FERS employee retires before age 62, he would receive a Social Security offset payment under the same rules as if receiving Social Security. Under this rule, the maximum that could be earned without a payment reduction is a little more than $14,000. If I get a job that is not in the Social Security system, such as many teachers do, will the over-14K income rule still apply? A: Yes, the limit will apply regardless of the source of the earnings from wages or self employment.

Disability benefits

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Q: My daughter was declared permanently disabled and allowed to remain on my FEHB plan. What happens when I pass on? Will she have an option to continue coverage? A: Yes, as long as she continues to be eligible for the disabled child benefit.

Health benefits

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Q: My husband and I work for the post office – he will retire soon and I will carry the health insurance and leave with a deferred retirement in a few years – at 45 with 20 years – what happens to the health benefits? A: Your husband would be able to continue the self and family coverage under Code 1M of the Table of Permissible Changes in Enrollment.

FERS and back pay

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Q: I retired Sept. 30. I have begun receiving my estimated annuity each month. When I begin receiving my FERS supplement, will it include the amounts not paid in the months after I retired but before OPM did my final annuity computations? A: Yes, it will.

Unused sick leave

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Q: As a postal worker under FERS, I will retire with 35 years service with a balance of one year of unused sick leave. Will I be credited as if I had worked 36 years? I earn $60,000 annually. How many retirement years will it take me to receive and realize the year of sick leave I turn back? A: If you retire after December 31, 2013, you’ll get full credit for your unused sick leave. If you have 2,087 hours, you’ll receive one year’s credit in your annuity calculation. Therefore, using your figures, instead of the formula being 0.01…

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