Q. I have a drinking problem and now the U.S. Post Office has given me papers to suggest separation. I am 55 years old. I went ahead and put in retirement papers for next year. Can they fire me and cause me to lose my retirement benefits? What is the best way to handle this situation? I have 32 years in. And aren’t they supposed to offer me rehab for my addiction?
A. If they plan to fire you before the date you’ve set, you wouldn’t lose your retirement benefits because you could immediately apply for discontinued service retirement. Your personnel office can show you how to do that. Note: your agency isn’t responsible for providing you with rehabilitation services. It is only responsible for referring you to their employee assistance program, which can provide you with short-term counselling. The cost of treatment by an outside provider would be at your own expense.