Q. I am a FERS retiree. My total retirement contribution that’s been taxed is $16,000. I understand this is averaged through my mortality and have a portion every month, tax free. Is there an option where I can take the total $16,000 and apply all in a given tax year as tax free even though that will eliminate the monthly, tax-free amount?
A. No, there isn’t any provision in law that would allow you to do that. But before I leave the subject, I need to tell you that the law which makes a portion of you annuity payments tax free didn’t change the other law that requires the Office of Personnel Management to return your retirement contributions to you first. Only after that money runs out will you begin to receive the government’s money. On average, a CSRS retiree will have received all of his contributions within 18 months. Because FERS retirees have contributed far less, they’ll receive all of their contributions much sooner.