Monthly Archives: June, 2012

Refund on military deposit

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Q. I’m a CSRS employee. I am eligible for retirement. I’ve passed my 62nd birthday and will not have enough quarters to be eligible for Social Security. I have heard different accounts of whether there is a way to get a refund on the money I paid to buy back my six years of military service time. Since I will not be eligible for Social Security and I paid the full amount to be sure I would be able to get credit for my military service, is there a way to get a refund on the nearly $8,000 I paid,…

Survivor benefits and same-sex marriage

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Q. I have 32 years of CSRS service as a civilian and am in a same-sex marriage. Can I sign up during my retirement processing for survivor benefits? A. No, you can’t, because the law governing survivor benefits hasn’t changed. However, you could elect an insurable interest annuity if you are in good health when you retire, as demonstrated by a current medical exam, and you can show that the person you are naming would benefit financially by your continuing to be alive. To pay for the benefit, your annuity would be reduced by a percentage that depends on the…

Law enforcement retirement

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Q. I was a federal air marshal under FERS and paid into the law enforcement officer special retirement plan, five years, and into the Thrift Savings Plan. I have since left the federal government (not retirement age yet) and have had my TSP transferred into a 401(k). I was wondering how to transfer my LEO special retirement that I paid into, or where to get more information on these benefits. A. You can get a refund of the contributions you made to the retirement fund by completing Standard Form 3106, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions, which is available at…

VERA and cost-of-living adjustment

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Q. I am considering taking the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority that has been offered to Postal Service mail handlers for Sept. 1. I am in FERS. Is there a cost-of-living adjustment? If so, when would I receive the increase and at what percentage? A. As a rule, FERS retirees don’t receive cost-of-living adjustments until they reach age 62.

Re-employment and high-3

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Q. I worked for a member of Congress for a little more than six years ending 12 years ago. Because he lost the next election, I became vested and eligible to receive a small pension but no health insurance (less than 10 years of service). Although I am over 62, I have never requested of collected any retirement benefits. Now I have an opportunity to go back to work for a federal agency at the GS-15 level. I assume that the benefits and time would be additive in some way, but how long would I have to work for my…

BRAC and workers' comp

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Q. I was affected by base realignment and closure in 1995. My agency moved from Kettering, Ohio, to Columbus, more than 90 miles each way. Married with a child in school, I was not able to relocate.  Incidentally, I was also on workers’ compensation at the time. I resigned due to work offered outside my commuting area but received workers’ comp for the next 13 years. In March 2009, I gained employment at another government agency (we moved to another state). The new agency doesn’t want to give me my full tenure toward retirement.  It was always my belief that…

Service computation date and break in service

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Q. I am a retired airman who served from Aug. 9, 1978, to Sept. 1, 1998. I entered federal service at Defense Finance and Accounting Services on April 12, 1999, serving until Aug. 31, 2007 — eight years, four months and 19 days. We had a reduction in force and closed Aug. 31, 2007. I had a break in service until July 20, 2008. when I started at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where I still work. My old service computation date was April 12, 1999. What should my new SCD be with that 10-month, 19-day break? A. Your new…

Disability retirement and Medicare Part B

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Q. I was approved for OPM disability retirement and Social Security. I understand that I can elect Medicare Part B coverage and pay an additional premium. I already am covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan and pay that premium. I also have been advised that I will pay a penalty for every year that I do not sign up for Medicare Part B while eligible. Is that so in every case? Should I pay both premiums? I am 52 years old. A. Yes, there is a penalty for every year you don’t sign up for Part B. However,…

Unused sick leave

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Q. I’m covered under FERS for retirement and currently have 27 years and eight months of service (service computation date of Oct. 10, 1984) with over a year of sick leave accrued/unused. I understand that starting in 2014, unused sick leave for FERS employees will be credited “day for day” vs. “1/2 for day.” If I schedule retirement for January 2014, will my unused sick leave place me over the 30-year mark for service  and qualify me for the 1.1 percent of pay/year of service for the FERS annuity portion of the retirement package? A. No, it will not. Sick…

Refund on military deposit?

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Q. I have paid the military buyback but am in the process of increasing my disability rating through the Veterans Affairs Department. This would not be advantageous for me to combine my military with civilian service in the federal government. Can I ask for a refund of the military buyback? What is the form or process I would use to do this? A. No, you cannot get a refund of your deposit.

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