Q. I am 58 and was a FERS employee at the USPS for 27 years. I have been on disability retirement for 10 months and am still receiving interim payments from OPM. My case has not been finalized. I am now found medically recovered by my doctor and have been released to return to work at the USPS. OPM has told me that I am eligible to return to work at the USPS. I retired as Postmaster EAS 18. OPM stated that I should find a job that I am interested in that is the same level that I retired as and let someone in the USPS know I am interested in returning to work in that position. Is this correct, and if so, what will I have to do to make sure that my annuity is correct if I work for another five-plus years?
A. What you were told is correct; however, while you are eligible for priority referral for a position, it doesn’t mean your former agency must or will offer you your former position or place you in another one. It simply means that you will be considered for any vacancy for which you are qualified. To exercise this right, you must apply directly to your agency for a specific vacancy. You can do that at any time after receiving a notice of recovery from OPM, but no later than one year after your disability annuity has been terminated. If you are rehired, your original employment records will be called up and any future service will be added to it, thus ensuring that your annuity will be correct when you retire again.