Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Higher pension contributions

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Q. An article about a House panel approving higher pension contributions for feds said that if you do not have five years by 2013 that you would be subject to the 5.8 percent. What is the cutoff date in 2013? I started Aug. 4, 2008. A. You are the victim of a common misunderstanding. The law doesn’t apply to current employees, only to those first hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, and any former employees that return to work for the government and have fewer than five years of creditable service.

Annuity reduction

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Q. I am eligible to retire in July (CSRS). In the event I retired and subsequently went to work in private industry, would my pension be subject to any form of offset based on those earnings? A. No.

Temporary NTE and "sold" leave

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Q. I’m a full-time FERS employee with 21 years of service and over 60 years in age. I am on a temporary promotion that is to “Not to Exceed 12/31/2012”. I am planning on retiring Nov. 30, a month before the temporary promotion expires. I am also planning on “selling” my 100 hours of unused annual leave at retirement. Will my leave be sold at my temporary promotion salary (GS-14) or at my permanent grade (GS-13)? A. Since your agency has the right to return you to your official position of record before you separate, the amount of your lump-sum…

Medicare

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Q. I hope to retire under CSRS at age 60. Will Medicare deductions continue to be taken from my CSRS pension checks when I retire?  If so, will the deductions end when I turn 65 and am eligible to invoke Medicare coverage? A. Deductions for Medicare are only taken from earnings from wages or self-employment, not annuities.

Accrued time transfer

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Q. I was employed by the Postal Service for more than five years with a start date of March 17, 2007. I applied for a position with the Defense Department, DCMA division, and was accepted. I started work with DoD on April 9. I have received three paychecks to date, earning six hours of leave per pay period, so my start date with the federal government went back to March 17, 2007. I had accrued approximately 136 hours of annual leave and 327 hours of sick leave. I am in the new position, and human resources in Kansas is telling…

Military buyback

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Q. I spent 20 years in the Navy and am currently receiving my pension from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and a 30 percent disability pension from the Veterans Affairs Department. In 1991, I began my employment with federal government under FERS. In 2009, I applied for disability due to my health condition. I spent 18½ years in federal service.  In June 2009, I began receiving my disability pay from the Office of Personnel Management, computed based on 60 percent of my high-3 for the first 12 months and 40 percent thereafter until I reached age 62. I will…

Lump-sum death benefit

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Q. I have read that “If there is no spouse, former spouse, eligible child or some other insurable interest named to receive a survivor annuity upon the death of the FERS annuitant, then a lump sum of the employee’s contributions to the FERS Retirement and Disability Fund will be paid to the individual(s) entitled under the order of precedence.” The order of precedence is: designated beneficiary, widow/widower, children, parents, etc. Does this mean, if I haven’t named someone to receive my FERS annuity, upon my death, anything not paid to me while I was retired will be paid in a…

Special retirement supplement and military time

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Q. I’m a DoD federal employee with three years of military service included in my FERS retirement. I know the three years count toward my pension calculation, but do they count toward the supplemental Social Security benefit? I’m eligible to retire in October and will be 56 with just over 30½ years of service including my military time. Will the supplement be calculated at 27½ years or 30½? A. Your special retirement supplement will be based solely on your period of FERS employment. Unless you made a deposit for your three years of military service, they won’t be included when…

Retiring firefighter

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Q. I am a firefighter for the Department of the Army. I was hired at age 41 and will be 61 at the end of my career. I understood that I would be able to retire with 20 years of service, and not be forced to retire at age 57. Could you please help me find the documentation that states this? A. You’ll find what you are looking for at www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C046.pdf. Scroll down to Section 46A3.3-2B2.

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