Q. Employees are advised to select at least a minimal survivor benefit when selecting retirement options. I understand the base for the survivor annuity can be as low as 1 percent of the overall annuity. The cost of that survivor benefit could be as little as a few dollars a month, as its cost would be based on the 2.5 percent rather than the 10 percent portion of the formula. For example, if the full annuity was calculated as $40,000, 1 percent would be $400; the annual cost of that would be just $10. What are your thoughts?
Q. I am 55 years old (born Dec. 29, 2960). I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 26 years, and now I have obtained a degree trying very much to get a different job within the government. If I leave the government and get another job until I am 60, can I get the Social Security supplement until I reach 62? Would I be able to collect two pensions if I do this?
Q. I retired in 2008 serving 30 years in the Air Force. I am now a five-year GS employee and have heard about buying back my military service. What are the advantages or disadvantages? I plan on retiring with 10 years under FERS.
Q. What percentage of my husbands annuity do I get when he dies? He is retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers. From what I am reading we would need to be married at least nine months, but I am having a hard time finding out much more. A. Assuming that (1) a former spouse isn’t already entitled to all or a portion of your husbands’s annuity; (2) you have been married to him for at least 9 months before he dies; (3) he applies for a survivor annuity within two years of your marriage; and (4) he pays to OPM a…
Q. I was told by my employer’s human resources specialist in charge of retirement and benefits that I will not get the 1.1 percent retirement at 20 years of service (when I reach 61 years old). He said I will get 1.1 percent after 20 years of service (starting at 21 years of service). Is that true? A. Your HR is right. While you are eligible to retire on an unreduced annuity at age 60 with 20 years of service, the law states that you will only be entitled to the 1.1 percent multiplier if you retire at age 62.
Q. I just received my 2016 personal statement of benefits from the U.S. Postal Service and my date of retirement eligibility is Feb. 10, 2019.. I’ll be 56 the next day, which is my minimum age of retirement. My total creditable service will be 29 years and five months. Do I get full retirement benefits, annuity, and a Social Security supplement or MRA + 10, since my creditable service is under 30 years?
Q. My wife went from active duty to reservist as a military tech. She bought back all military time while serving as a tech. She was beyond the 20-year mark when she was returned to active duty, where she retired. Now she has been reinstated as civil service. Will she get the benefit of eight hours a pay period for leave purposes? She has 6-plus years under Social Security. If she does not get credit for the previous years of service, can she request a refund from the military buy-back program without affecting previous contributions to her retirement fund?
Q. Nine years ago (in 2007) I voluntary resigned from the U.S. Postal Service after 21 years and six months of service. I’ve transferred my TSP to a regular IRA account. Am I entitled to any retirement/pension benefits? At what age can I start receiving the benefits? I am now 57 years old.
Q. If I complete 13 years of active duty in 2018 and tack on seven years of reserve duty until 2025, I will start receiving military retirement benefits for those 20 years at age 60. If I become a GS employee in 2018 and serve 20 years until I am 57, will I be able to receive my military retirement pension as well as my FERS pension? If I “make a contribution” (aka buy back those 13 years of active-duty service), will I have to forfeit the military retirement benefits because it will be rolled into the FERS?