Author Reg Jones

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

Q. I’ve been with the government for 32 years and have based my TSP contributions on having the special retirement supplement when I’m eligible to retire in six years. Can Congress approve the budget and eliminate something that’s been promised to millions of federal employees just like that? This seems like a breach of contract and illegal. Am I wrong about that? Wouldn’t current employees have to be grandfathered in?

Q. I am 63 and retired from Tobyhanna Army Depot. I have coverage with Geisinger Health Plan as part of my retirement package. I have Tricare standard, being retired military. How do I drop Geisinger since I receive Tricare at no monthly cost? It makes no sense to pay for one that is close to $300 per month when I have Tricare that has a much lower deductible, and I will have to come under Medicare Part B in the near future. How do I do this?

Q. I am a GERS employee with the U.S. Postal Service. I have 18 years of service and will reach my minimum retirement age next year. Would it make sense to retire and take the annuity, or postpone it until I’m 60 or 62? I can be covered under my husband’s insurance.

Q. I left federal employment after 20 years of service under the CSRS retirement system at age 45 with about 1,600 hours of sick leave on record. I will be applying for deferred pension at age 62. Is the sick leave balance considered in the retirement calculation? It is my understanding that it is not because I left service early.

Q. I am retiring under discontinued service at 54 years old. I will get my FERS annuity, and when I reach my minimum retirement age, the special retirement supplement. I want to work part time. What is the max amount that I can earn? What will be the difference in loss of benefits between a federal job and a nonfederal job?

Q. There has been talk that the FERS supplemental is going to be done away with. Will it be replaced with another supplemental? What was the purpose of the supplemental in the first place? The cost of living has not gone down — it continues to go up each year. FERS employees will need some to bridge the gap before they can draw Social Security.

Q. I am in civil service with 40 years and 9 months, including two years in the military for which I’ve made a deposit. I also have one year and four months of unused sick leave. Do I qualify for the maximum 80 percent annuity? I now have allotments taken out of my pay stubs. When I retire, will they remain the same? I hope so because I don’t want them to change. If I get a full-time job in the private sector, will that affect my annuity? I’m eligible for Social Security. I’ve heard that if you work for only 180 days…

Q. I will have 30 years of service in October 2018, but I will only be 55 years old as of Aug. 29, 2018. I am so ready to retire — with the stress of the U.S. Postal Service and my family stresses, I cant endure another year of service. Can I retire in October 2018?

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