Monthly Archives: November, 2012

Annuity reductions

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Q. My wife is a CSRS Postal Service employee with four years of military time and will retire in February with 36 years total. She did not pay back her military time. She was told by the post office that Social Security would deduct the money from her check when she reaches 62. 1. My wife does not plan on trying to collect Social Security at age 62, so will they still lower her retirement check? 2. I was told during a civil service retirement seminar that if she waited until age 68, she could go back to work and…

Earnings limit

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Q. As a CSRS Offset employee for retirement purposes, what are the dollar limits on either federal employment or private employment after retirement and receiving your pension? Are there tax implications? A. If you return to work for the federal government, in most cases your annuity will be reduced by the amount of your Social Security benefit. On the other hand, working in the private sector would have no effect on it. Note: When you are eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, two things will happen: First, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of…

Why keep the sick leave?

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Q. I will have 28.75 years with the Postal Service in FERS when I’m eligible to take the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offered for Jan. 31. With half of my eight months of sick leave, I will have another four months credited to me. I will be 56 years old in January, so this is a real birthday present! I understand that my FERS annuity will not be reduced because of the VERA. So, if my annuity is not reduced before I would retire with 30 years of service because of the VERA offer, is there any incentive to keep…

Retirement date

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Q. I am contemplating retiring Dec. 31, Jan. 2 or Jan. 3. I am not sure how the CSRS annuity check is computed. Based on a full month? Or if I retire during the month, is it prorated, or is that month lost. 1. When does my CSRS pension start if I retire on Dec. 31? Do I receive an entire month’s (January 2013) pension check? When would I receive it? 2. If I retired on Jan. 2 or 3, when would I receive my annuity check? Is it prorated for January? 3. Also, since the leave year ends Jan.…

Special retirement supplement

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Q. I am planning on retiring in February. At that time, I will be 60 years old and will have 27 years under FERS. 1.  Am I entitled to the special retirement supplement? 2.  Does receiving the supplement affect my Social Security payment at age 62? 3.  How long after retiring can I expect to receive my first payment, and roughly how much will it be? 4.  Are state and federal taxes deducted from it? A. 1. Yes. 2. No. The special retirement ends at age 62 when your Social Security benefits begin. 3. I have no idea. However, the…

Health insurance change

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Q. If I change my health insurance to self-only (due to my wife having insurance through her company) and I retire next year, can I add her back to mine if she loses or changes jobs. I ask because it’s open season and I plan on retiring the end of May from the Postal Service. I have my minimum retirement age and 31 years, three of which are my military buyback. A. As a retiree, you could change from self-only to self and family under Qualifying Life Event 2G. And you could do that from 31 days before through 60…

High-3 calculation and leave without pay

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Q. I am a Postal Service employee under CSRS. I am planning on taking the incentive and retiring Jan. 31, which will give a total of 34 years and nine months of service including sick leave. I have used approximately 3,700 hours of leave without pay over my entire career with the maximum used in one year being 408.46 hours and the minimum being zero. 1. It is my understanding that any LWOP used during that time, as long as it does not exceed six months in any year, will not affect my length of service used to determine my…

High-3 calculation and leave without pay

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Q. I am a Postal Service employee under CSRS. I am planning on taking the incentive and retiring Jan. 31, which will give a total of 34 years and nine months of service including sick leave. I have used approximately 3,700 hours of leave without pay over my entire career with the maximum used in one year being 408.46 hours and the minimum being zero. 1. It is my understanding that any LWOP used during that time, as long as it does not exceed six months in any year, will not affect my length of service used to determine my…

WEP

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Q. I worked in high school and through college paying into Social Security and earned 28 quarters. From 1974 to 2009, I worked under CSRS and paid no Social Security. Upon retirement, I collected my monthly annuity from CSRS, then started working in private sector and will get my 40 quarters in January. I turned 62 in October. How is the reduction computed for my monthly Social Security payments? My monthly retirement is around $6,500 from CSRS. A. Your Social Security benefit will be affected by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the benefit of anyone who is receiving…

Sequestration and retirement

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Q. I am part of CSRS set to retire Feb. 1. However, with the fiscal cliff looming and consideration of a change to the retirement calculation based on a high five years of performance, should I consider retirement in 2012. How quickly could retirement criteria change, and could this change affect those of us who are considering retirement in the next few months? A. There is no way to know what the future will hold. Nevertheless, things will become clearer as we get closer to the so-called fiscal cliff. The best you can do is keep your eyes and ears…

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