Separate benefits


Q. I am applying for a part-time job with the U.S. Postal Service and am hoping it leads to full-time employment. I receive military retirement and disability. Will I lose any of this? At my age of 54, I doubt I will be able to put in 20 years with USPS but do want to stay busy. Will I be able to keep both my retired and disability pay?

A. You wouldn’t lose anything if you keep the two benefits separate. In other words, if you don’t combine your military service with your civilian service. If you did, you’d have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and waive your military retired pay when you retired from your civilian job.


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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


  1. I was first retired medically in 1997. Then OWCP made a decision my medical condition was due to my work and gave me a choice of csrs or owcp. I chose owcp. I continued to pay for my $256,000 Life insurance. I received a letter from OPM apologizing for saying I had no life insurance on a phone call (yes, I kept the letter).

    Over the years, I have looked at my OWCP EOB’S. They show my life insurance deductions. About a year ago, I noticed the deduction stopped.

    I inquired to OWCP and they told me to contact OPM. They also sent a list of numbers to call.

    After calling these numbers (only to find out the offices no longer existed or were out of service, I went back to my original letter from OPM and tried to call Beverly ,,,,,,, who signed the 2000 letter and found her office no longer existed.)

    It is a longer and more frustrating saga!

    I also contacted My U.S. Senator, more recently, Patty Murray, with out much response (Seattle office).

    I don’t know where to restart my inquiry.

    Please help. Thank You, Bob Baker

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