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 will be turning 60 in December. I have been working steady now for 20 years, and am still working. My health is so bad now I’m in so much pain working. I won’t apply for disability due to the fact that it takes two years, I’m told, to process a claim. I can’t be without income for that long. I want to retire at 60. Can I do that? Will there be a large penalty?

Q. Can you explain the Windfall Elimination Provision as it pertains to those of us that are CSRS? I have heard many different answers, one of which said they can’t fully offset your Social Security. I have 40 quarters from before I became a civil service employee, and in the early years I worked a part-time job. I am 3½ years away from hitting 40 years now. Will I get any Social Security? Can my husband (who is younger than me) draw against my Social Security until he hits his magic age?

Q. I am 53 years old, and I retired from the Navy Reserve in 2008 with 21 years of service (13 active). I have been a GS employee since 2002 and have made a deposit for the active-duty time toward my civilian retirement. I plan to retire from the federal government when I am 56. Will I still be eligible for a military reserve retirement?

Q. Can you explain what would happen to my pension as a reinstated employee? I retired in 2011 from the sales department in the U.S. Postal Service. I took a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. I was 53, now I’m 59. I would like to go back to my job (I just saw the posting). I have been getting the supplement since age 56. I get $27,348 with my pension and supplement. I left at the pay scale of $68,000 — the same as the job is offering. Would I still get a pension in my direct deposit? Will I accrue a new pension?…

Q. How does the accumulation of sick leave factor into the overall retirement calculation? I plan on retiring in four years and will have accumulated more than a year’s worth of sick leave. I want to use it toward retirement. I will be 63 with 18 years of service as a civil servant. I’m retired military, as well.

Q. Is the cost of the spousal benefit I elect on the day I retire (approximately 10 percent of my pension) set in stone? Or do I have to pay more each year because the value of my pension is going up due to the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)? (Is it 10 percent of retirement pay on Day 1 and that amount is paid forever, or 10 percent of my pension as it goes up due to COLA? Is the value of my spousal benefit based on 55 percent of the amount of my high-3 pay at retirement or is it 55 percent of my pension at…

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