Q. I am a CSRS postal employee considering retirement, with the offer of $20,000 Special Retirement Incentive as a postmaster. I am 55 with 30 years of service. Under service history, I have listed as unfunded, work from Aug. 22, 1979, to Oct. 5, 1979. This is one month and 14 days of service. In addition, the history lists this service under U.S. Postal Service when the work was for the U.S. Census Bureau. Should I be concerned about getting the agency information corrected on this? I was first employed by the Postal Service on June 19, 1982. I assume they have used this one month and 14 days to figure my annuity and retirement computation dates, as they are listed as May 5, 1982, and without them, the dates would be June 19, 1982, correct? How is the deposit amount calculated? Is there a 10 percent reduction to my annuity for nonpayment on this small amount of nondeduction service? I also have six years as a part-time flexible clerk in this service history, but I generally worked close to full-time hours during those years. Will that affect the annuity estimate much? The Human Resources Shared Services Center is giving conflicting answers or saying it will take about a year to figure the deposit required or the deduction to my annuity. I will not be affected by the reduction in force until 2014, so might it be best to forget the incentive and get the answers in a year?
A. While I can’t speculate on whether you should go or stay, I can give you some information that may help you decide what to do. First, you are entitled to credit for your previous service. It would be a good idea to have your record corrected to show you were employed by the Census Bureau and not the Postal Service. Second, as you pointed out, you’ve already been given credit for that time in determining your years of service; however, as you know, at retirement your annuity will be reduced by 10 percent of the amount you owe, plus accrued interest. To find out what that would be, complete Standard Form 2803, Application to Make Deposit or Redeposit, and send it to OPM. When OPM responds, you’ll have a better idea of which is the better course of action — deposit what you owe or accept the reduction in your annuity. Third, while the hours you worked while a PFT clerk may have varied, you’ll usually be credited with only the hours specified when you were appointed. Finally, there isn’t a practical way of determining how that part-time service will affect your annuity.