About Author

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. Paul S. Lambres RR 001, Sonoma, CA on

    Hi Reg, Merry Christmas! Thank you for your continued diligence in helping us knuckleheads out with these sometimes goofy questions.
    I am retiring from the USPS on February 16, 2018. I am a rural carrier and will go with the max in annual leave. I keep hearing different answers to this question: When do I receive the lump sum payment? I have heard it will be on the last paycheck (dated Feb 23, 2018). I have also heard it can be a separate check up to a month later. Perhaps both these answers are true. What is the criteria that determines the method? Thank you very much for your answer.

    • There is no general rule for when lump sum payments are made. You’ll have to check with your payroll office to find out what method they are using.

  2. Hello, I served in the Army from 1973-1995. I retired in 2017. When I talked with the Social Security Administration staff, I was never told that the projected/estimated amount included an added stipend for military service. I think there should be a published scale, similar to the VA rating system. Otherwise, military veterans have no way of being sure they are receiving the “Special Extra Earnings” we are entitled to. How do we protect ourselves from bureaucratic theft & abuse?

    • This is a site for federal civilian employee and retiree benefits. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything about military benefits or their connection to Social Security entitltments.

  3. Hi. I hope you had a great vacation. I have been on OWCP since2004 due to illness caught on job.
    I noticed on one question that you cannot receive retirement unless you go back to work after being on OWCP. They are trying to get me back to work now due to a second opinion doctors report.

    So, if I’m able to work a while, how long do i have to work to get retirement?

    Also Sir, if they do get me into a job that is not federal, do i receive federal retirement?

    I’m 64

    Thank you, Loretta

  4. Loretta,

    How many years of federal service did you have before 2004? You will need at least five years of federal service to get an annuity (pension) if you are FERS. If you have 5 years already, you can start your pension now with form RI 92-19. Unfortunately, your time on OWCP since 2004 does not count for federal retirement — it would count if you had received federal disability, but you received OWCP instead.

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