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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Rick Brandenburg on

    I am a Marine and Army veteran with 5 years of active duty. I worked at the VA as a Nurse on 2 occasions. First from Feb 1988 to Oct. 1991. Then left Federal service. I accepted the FERS payout at the time, which is unfortunate. But came back to work at the VA again in Jan. 2002 and stayed until August 2004. I paid my Military Service deposit, over $2900.00 and have over $881.00. in FERS, But that only covers the periods 2002-2004. I wasn’t given the option to repay the FERS from previous employment. I would have over 11 years of federal service but not now.A lawyer says I should be able to repay back FERS from Feb-Oct 1991, it comes to $446.00. I would be glad to repay it. What say you? The H.R. people at the VA ensured me when I left I could apply for a Deferred Annuity that I had the time, but now I found out his week that wasn’t true. As late as 2013 a OPM letter came to me stating I was eligible for a Deferred Annuity. But again I found out otherwise. Worked as a DAV Service Officer for 5 years, along side the VBA at the VARO assisting vets with benefits now I can’t collect my own pension. I sent out a letter to OPM requesting a Reconsideration. But do I really have a chance?

    • When you worked for the government that second time, there was no provision in law that would have allowed you to redeposit the money you took out when you left the first time. The law later changed and provided that anyone who was on the employment rolls on or after October 28, 2009, could redeposit what they owed, plus interest, and get credit for that refunded service. Therefore, the only way you could make a redeposit is to once more be employed of the federal government in a position covered by FERS.

      • Rick Brandenburg on

        I am 57 years old and don’t have the stamina of 12 years ago. I appreciate your fast response but may have to contact a lawyer. Why does it matter when I have to repay that deposit as long as I make the payment. I did the work. I paid my Military Service Deposit which is like extorting money money from vets. Plus I ran into HR people and OPM employees who weren’t trustworthy in their advice. I have tried on three occasions to return to the VA but been denied. Why would a lady send me a OPM letter from 2013 stating I was eligible for a Deferred Annuity when I wasn’t. I have $22,500 in Thrift Savings Plan. If I cashed that how much do I get.? How much would I get back for the MSD $2900.00 and the $881.00 with interest from the FERS? Perhaps I will leave it in there until I am 60 or 62. Disgusted with Government Service.

  2. Retire in 2015. Work for government in 1983-1995 got my pension of 15 year.return to government in 2001 under fer.so when I retire why did social security ,take my retire .they just paid me for fer year

    • Because you were hired before December 31, 1983, you would have been covered by CSRS. Because no Social Security deductions would have been taken from your pay, you wouldn’t be entitled to any Social Security benefits for that period of service.

      • Federal employee with more than 34 years of service (no breaks) but thinking about retirement in 10 years. I was hired as a Federal Part time employee prior to December 1983 but only paid Social Security (FICA) but no retirement pension (CSRS nor FERS). Prior to 1/1/87 (the official start date of FERS), I was considered a CSRS-Offset employee (SCD 9/1/85). Can I remain in CSRS or should I have been placed in FERS?

        • You can remain in CSRS. You’ll get credit for that part-time service in determining your years of service; however, if you want it to be used in the computation of your annuity, you’ll have to make a deposit for that time.

    • It sounds like your Social Security was reduced due to the effects of the Windfall Elimination Provision. Because you have a CSRS pension, where you did not pay SS, the WEP takes part of whatever SS you earned as a FERS employee, and other jobs where you paid SS. You would need to have paid 30 years into SS for the WEP to not be applied. SSA has a page where you can read about the WEP and how it affects you. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html

      You should still be receiving your pension from OPM, that is not affected by the WEP.

      • My error, the WEP does not affect any SS you earned in other jobs. It only affects the SS you earned as a FERS employee.

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