Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Mandatory retirement

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Q. I worked 20 years and two months in a covered firefighter position. I then worked two years in a non-covered position.  I have returned to a secondary covered position.  Do I face mandatory retirement?  Or does my break in service allow me to work past 57?  Where would I find the answer in the federal regulations or is this decided by case history. A. Yes, you will face mandatory retirement. Go to www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C046.pdf and scroll down to Section 46A3.3-2B1, which applies to both CSRS and FERS LEOs and firefighters. Note: That section hasn’t been updated to show that the…

Gross or net?

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Q. I am in FERS with 18 years of federal service. Will my FERS pension be calculated on base pay (gross) or net pay after TSP contributions? A. It will be calculated on basic pay. To see what’s included in basic pay, go to www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C030.pdf and scroll down to Section 30A.1-2.

Retirement pay eligibility

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Q. I worked for the Interstate Commerce Commission from September 1984 to September 1994. Will I be eligible to collect retirement benefits when age appropriate? A. Yes, if you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left government. Because you had at least five years of service, you could apply for a deferred annuity at your minimum retirement age (MRAs range from 55 to 57 depending on your year of birth). However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62, unless you postponed the receipt of your annuity to…

Self-only vs. self and family

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Q. I am currently retired (CSRS) and have single coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. My spouse is still employed by the federal government (FERS) and has single coverage under FEHB. We were both under my family plan until our youngest child became ineligible. We then went to self-only plans because the premiums were less together than the family plan. She will be eligible for retirement in three years. She is also considering simply quitting before then and taking a deferred retirement when she is eligible. I am not covering her for spousal annuity, nor will she be covering me. We…

Military buyback and special retirement supplement

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Q. I retired from the Army after 20 years. I am a GS-13 with 14 years. It will cost me $14,203.39 to buy back 20 years military time. (The calculations have been done.) I plan to retire at 62. If I buy back the 20 years, when will my military retirement check stop: immediately, or when I eventually retire from the government? I am 56 years old. Will I be eligible for 14/40ths of what my Social Security will eventually be for each month until I turn 62? A. You can wait until shortly before you retire to waive your military…

VSIP

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Q. Can an agency direct an employee not to submit a retirement packet prior to its Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay decision? Does an agency decision to grant VSIP affect an employee’s ability to pursue optional retirement? I’m a FERS employee with the Defense Department and was eligible for MRA+10 effective December 2011. My agency deemed my position surplus in 2011 and offered VSIP and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority to separate in 2012. I’ve opted to retire under MRA+10 effective Sept. 30, and to request VSIP. (I’m ineligible for VERA.) I’m prepared to submit my retirement packet to the Army Benefits…

Annuity calculation for part-time work

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Q. I was hired in 1985 as rural carrier relief, then converted to rural carrier associate. I became full time in January 1995. I was allowed to buy back time for 1985-89. Do I receive full credit for four years toward retirement? How is the time from 1985-89 counted? A. You’ll find the method used to compute an annuity that includes part-time service at www.opm.gov/pubs/handbook/C055.pdf.

Retirement and annual leave payment timing

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Q. I am a CSRS employee who plans to retire at the end of 2012 and plans to have 440 hours of annual leave, for which I wish to get paid in 2013 so it will be in my 2013 income. I understand that I could retire Dec. 29, which is the end of the 26th pay period, and receive this annual pay in my last paycheck, which I would receive Jan. 4, 2013. Can I retire Jan. 3 and still carry over my extra leave and get paid for that in the 27th paycheck, which would be issued Jan.…

Retirement after part-time federal work

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Q. I have worked as a clinical dietitian for more than 20 years (part time — 24 hours/week for the past 12). I am considering leaving to do private practice full time. How will this affect my pension, retirement, etc.? Will I still be eligible for my pension after a certain age? A. If you don’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you leave, you’ll be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 60.

General versus honorable discharge and MRA

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Q. I am 55 and have five years’ military time (paid deposit for both — Army two years and Navy three years) and will have 27 years with my agency this year when I reach my MRA for FERS. Three years of my military time were with the Navy, and I have a general discharge (two years Army is an honorable discharge). I read that the military time must be honorable and thus am concerned if my Navy time will be allowed for service credit regardless of paying the deposit on it more than eight years ago. Boy, I’d sure…

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