Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Military buyback and RIF before vesting

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Q. I am a career conditional employee with 1½ years total civilian service time who is eligible to buy back my military time. Due to the current budget constraints, I fear that I could be subject to a reduction in force. If I buy back my time and am RIF’d prior to completing my five years of civilian service that are required to be vested in FERS, what happens to my military deposit? A. You’ll have a choice to make. You can either ask to have that money refunded to you or you can leave it in the fund. If…

Separation before NTE date and unemployment compensation

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Q. If a federal re-employed annuitant is let go prior to his “Not to Exceed” date not for cause (i.e. to save money), is he entitled to unemployment compensation? A. Highly unlikely because you are already receiving an annuity. However, you would have to check with your state employment office to be sure.

Is VSIP always a lump sum?

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Q. I am 62 with 25 years of service. Since Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments have been offered in my organization, I am thinking about taking one. Do I have to take the lump sum, or can the incentive be taken in installments? A. How the payments are made is entirely up to your agency, and, with the exception of the Postal Service, they usually make it in a one-time lump sum.

Early retirement and annuity reduction

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Q. I am a 45-year-old letter carrier under CSRS with 25 years of service. If I accept an early retirement offer from the Postal Service, will I still be subject to the 2 percent-a-year penalty for being under my minimum retirement age? What other penalties will I face accepting a VERA at an early age? A. Yes, as a CSRS employee, you’d be subject to the 2 percent per year permanent reduction in your annuity. Another effect would be that your annuity would be based on fewer years of service than if you’d waited until you reached age 55 and…

VERA and special retirement supplement

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Q. I will be age 59 in May with 21 years in. How does VERA/VSIP apply? Will I be able to get the special retirement supplement until age 62, and at what age would it start? A. The Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment are two different things. If an employee is offered a VERA, he can retire at age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25. If he is offered a VSIP, he can accept the money and leave, regardless of whether he is eligible to retire. Because you meet…

VERA eligibility

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Q. I am a federal agent with the Department of Homeland Security. I have 18 years on and am 47 years old. If the furlough goes into effect, and they offer early-outs, is there a way for me to take it? Will I lose a huge chunk of my retirement? Will the deferred annuity work for me? I have a couple of prospects for private-sector employment with great benefit packages. I just would like to know is it worth staying the last two years. A. You don’t meet the age and service requirements for early retirement: age 50 with 20…

VSIP eligibility

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Q. With 20 years of federal civilian employment at age 50, would I be eligible for Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay if it’s offered? I am under FERS. A. Yes, because anyone who is offered a VSIP can accept it, whether or not he is eligible to retire. In your case, you have the years and service to both accept the payment and retire.

VERAs and sick leave

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Q. If I have met the requirements for a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority being offered in 2014 (over 25 years and any age — in my case, 27 years and age 46), would I get credit in my retirement benefit calculation for sick leave. I know after Dec. 31, 2013, the full amount can be used. However, I wasn’t sure if you have to retire under “normal” circumstances and whether it was still applicable in a VERA situation. After meeting the requirement for a VERA, I know you can collect your retirement annuity immediately. Does the same hold true for…

VERA vs. immediate annuity

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Q. You recently answered a question that stated there would be no point in accepting a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offer if already eligible for an immediate retirement annuity. If, however, there is a monetary incentive involved, wouldn’t it be smarter to take the VERA to receive the cash incentive? A. There isn’t any monetary incentive under the VERA, only with a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment. So, my answer stands.

VERA/VSIP offers

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Q. If a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered, how can a Defense Department employee find this info if the agency does not announce the news? A. You can’t. You’ll learn about it when the offer is made.

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