Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Leave without pay and involuntary recall

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Q. I am on active duty under Title 10 for a 225-day involuntary recall deployment. I am also a 15-year federal employee. Upon coming into the federal position in 2003, I bought back my four years of active-duty time, which has been applied to my FERS position. I would now like to have the deployment days added onto my federal career. I am on leave without pay. However, I am receiving differential of pay. Would I be authorized to have the deployment time calculated to my federal position? I was also informed that I would receive no evaluation or SF-50…

MRA scenarios

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Q. My month of birth is June 1963. I will have 12 years of federal service at age 56. What is my MRA? Is it 56 with a penalty and age 62 with 18 years of service no penalty? A. Your minimum retirement age is 56. Since you are only 49, you’d have to wait until you reached your MRA to retire under the MRA+10 provision. Then your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were younger than 62. You could, of course stick around until you had 20 years of service. By then you’d be at least 60 and…

CSRS versus FERS

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Q. My husband starting working for the Department of Defense in August 1984. He was put into the CSR Offset. He had four years of military service, and he immediately paid the deposit for civilian service credit. Effective Jan. 1, 1987, he was automatically put in FERS.  Does the military service he bought back count for creditable civilian service? If yes, then shouldn’t he have remained in CSRS, since he would have had more than five years of civilian service before Jan. 1, 1987? He had no previous civilian service, other than military service, before he was hired in 1984. A. Yes, the active-duty…

Suspending FEHB

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Q. I am eligible to retire this year from federal law enforcement (age 51 with 20 years as an officer). I am serving on active-duty military orders, which will continue for the next three years. If I retire from my law enforcement position, can I suspend (NOT cancel) my health care coverage option (and premiums) while I am on active duty and covered by Tricare? I would not be eligible for Tricare between ages 55 and 60 and therefore would not want to lose access to this important coverage when my military tour ends. A. Yes, you can suspend your FEHB coverage under…

VERA

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Q. My wife was a CSRS clerk for the Postal Service for 30 years, and on June 30, 2009, she retired at age 54 under a VERA and lost 2 percent because she was younger than 55. Two months after she retired, the Postal Service offered a VSIP of $15,000 to any clerk who wanted to retire because they didn’t get the numbers they were looking for. Would she be entitled to the $15,000 because she left under a VERA? A. No. The purpose of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment law is to encourage employees to retire, not to reward them…

Rehired annuitant

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Q. I retired from the federal government with more than 35 years of service with a CSRS pension on Jan. 20, 2009, because I was serving in a non-career SES position (my final SF-50 indicated an involuntary separation). If I were to return to federal service, would I be eligible for an annuity offset, thereby keeping my annuity and federal salary? In addition, if, after working as a re-employed annuitant for two or three years and then re-retiring, would my CSRS annuity change or be re-calculated to reflect additional years of employment? A. As a rule, if you were re-employed by the…

Military buyback

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Q. I retired from active service with 30 years. I recently obtain a federal government job and am inquiring if I am eligible for the buyback program and, if so, if is there a cost comparison worksheet to review so I can determine if the buyback is advantageous to me. A. Yes, you are eligible to make a deposit for your active duty service and have it used in determining your total years of civilian service and annuity; however, at retirement, you would be required to waive your military retired pay. To find out how much you would owe, complete…

Survivor benefits and monthly deductions

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Q. Upon retirement from civilian government service, if you chose the survivor benefits plan for your spouse, are the payments deducted monthly from your retirement pay taxable by the government? A. Payments aren’t deducted monthly for a survivor benefit. Instead, there is a one-time permanent reduction in your annuity. Since that reduction will be made before you receive annuity payments, you will be taxed only on the amount you receive. Note: A portion of your annuity will be tax-free, since it represents a return of the post-tax contributions you made to the retirement system. See IRS Publication 721 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p721.pdf.

Special retirement supplement and disability

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Q. If you have met time in service and age requirements to retire under FERS special retirement but have not yet reached your mandatory retirement age and become too disabled to work, how is your retirement calculated? If it is considered a disability retirement, are you still eligible to collect the Social Security supplement since you met the requirements for a regular retirement? If it is considered a regular retirement, can you collect Social Security disability without the wash? A. If you take regular retirement, you’ll receive the special retirement supplement. If you are approved for disability retirement, you won’t. If…

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