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 have 10 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I paid my military deposit (14 years, nine months and 18 days), so my total time is 24 years and nine months. I’m leaving to return to school full time. If I come back after three to five years, I’ve been told I would be starting over, i.e., all that time is gone because of the break in service. Is that true?

Q. I’m getting mixed advice about the maximum amount of time my current agency can retain me because it is not a transfer within the agency, but to an external agency. I have asked the human resources specialist to provide me with the Office of Personnel Management regulation that allows my current agency to retain me for 30 days. After two days, she indicated she is still researching it. I have scoured the OPM site and I have found nothing. Can you clear this up for me?

In April, the Republican budget proposal included a provision that would eliminate the special retirement supplement. The SRS bridges the day you retire and age 62, when you’ll first be eligible for a Social Security benefit. The SRS is based on your years of actual FERS service. It doesn’t include any other Social Security-covered employment, such as work in the private sector or active duty service in the armed forces, even if you made a deposit to the retirement system to get credit for that time.

Q. After doing the conversion based on the chart, I will have 28 days of use-or-lose sick leave. If I want to take those days off while I’m still working, how many days is that in real time? I know the 28 days are not based on eight hours of leave, which is the normal work day.

Q. If you are a GS-13, can you can get a temporary promotion to the next higher grade without having to wait 52 weeks? I have asked my personnel office this question and was told that’s not the case. I did my own research on the Office of Personnel Management website and don’t see any way that could happen.

Q. I served six years active duty with the Navy and 16 years with the Air Force Reserve. I bought back the six active years, as I am employed with the U.S. Postal Service. I retired from the Air Force Reserve back in 2011. How does the buy back help/hurt my military reserve retirement pay when I am 65?

Q. I am 50 years of age with 26 years of experience under FERS with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I’ve been offered a job that far exceeds the one I’m currently at but would have to leave the agency. Is that possible with my time in and age limit? Can I file for retirement now? I’ve been told I could, but is resignation another option? From reading, doesn’t look good. If there is a better option, I’m all ears. Just want to be educated and not go in the wrong direction.

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