Browsing: COLA

Q. I will be retiring at the end of this year with 37 years and 10 months of service. I am a CSRS employee who will be 57 years old in September. My annual annuity would be $81,958 a year. I will have a little over $200,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan account. Is it smartest to take the spousal annuity or take out a life insurance policy on myself to sustain my wife once I pass away? My annual annuity will be reduced by around $7,900 a year if I choose the spousal annuity. Which would be the wisest?

Q. In 2015, I will reach my minimum retirement age (56) with 26+ years of creditable FERS service. If a VERA is offered any time that I’m 56 to 60 (when I will have reached full age and time requirements) would I get the special retirement supplement until age 62? If yes, then from 56-62, I would get: FERS immediate annuity (no penalty under a VERA) Thrift Savings Plan annuity (no penalty under a VERA) special retirement supplement (under a VERA). Also during these years there is really no cost-of-living adjustment for any of the above, correct? Also, under a…

Q. I am an FERS GS with four years until I get my 20 under 6(c) law enforcement officer and a year and half after that until mandatory retirement. I have been offered a 6(c) job overseas — how is the high-3 calculated? Is it on the base level GS schedule (plus LEAP) I actually earn, or is it based on a modified amount of what I would have earned in DC — which is how the overseas postings on Foreign Service retirement seems to work? I am pretty sure all the COLA, post allowances and danger pays don’t calculate…

Q. I retired under CSRS nine years ago and took the survivor annuity. Each year, my Notice of Annuity statement identifies the monthly survivor annuity amount payable to my wife upon my death. My wife and I are both in good health. My only child is 34, has been identified by Social Security Administration as disabled (cerebral palsy) and receives SSDI and Medicare (based on his work history before he became completely disabled). He receives about $1,000 per month. CSRS Brochure Retirement Facts 5 (October 1997) states that each child with no surviving parent receives $404 per month with COLA…

Q. I am 57 and was a civilian firefighter for the Navy in FERS with 13 years of service. I was medically retired in 2001 and have been receiving a disability annuity since. I remember being told or having read that when I turn 62, my disability annuity will revert to a standard retirement, reducing my pension. A couple of years after I left the federal system, I found part-time work to help add to my income, staying well under the 80 percent requirement, but over the last two to three years, my medical issues have worsened, and I am…

Q. I’m under FERS and worried about a reduction in my Social Security benefits after retirement. My Social Security benefits are not calculated on an assumption of $110,000 a year until I retire. If I elect to retire with 31 years of service at my minimum retirement age of 56, will the years following my retirement without paying (or paying Social Security at a lower income level) reduce my Social Security benefits when I claim them at 62 or older?

Q: What were you thinking? No COLA for two years, now a tax increase, causing my check to be $38 less. I am barely surviving. Do something. This is no way to repay veterans, or their widows,  for their service. A: You’ve come to the wrong place to point the finger of blame. The fact that no cost-of-living adjustments are being made on retiree annuities is a product of the same law that routinely gave you COLAs in the past. When the economy tanked, the index on which they are computed fell below zero. Just be thankful that this same…

Q: I work in Alaska as an Army civilian police officer. Where I am stationed, we receive specialty pay. For example, I am a GS 08 about to move up to GS 09. My current GS 08 step 4 pay is $54,633. On top of this, we still get cost-of-living allowance here, which for me turns out to be $11,440.15. A normal GS-scale employee as an GS 08 step 4 receives $41,393. Does my specialty pay count toward my Federal Employees Retirement System annuity? In other words, is my retirement based on the $54,633, or is it based on $41,393?…

Q. My husband is retired civil service, and receives a civil service annuity retirement. When we filed our federal tax return, $250 was deducted from our return even though we did not receive $250 in January 2010. Is this correct? So we did not get a $250 tax credit, I suppose. A. To better understand the mechanics of the stimulus payment, I recommend that you read the well-written summary provided by the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE). Just go to www.narfe.org/departments/home/articles.cfm?10=1989.

Q. I see that the approximate COLA for retirees this year might be 0.1 percent. My question is, does that include postal retirees? I know we all go through OPM now, but sometimes it looks like postal retirees fall into a different group. A. The cost-of-living adjustment for retirees in 2010 was zero. While it’s been estimated that it will be 0.01 percent next year, when it comes to COLAs, no distinction is ever made between postal and non-postal employees

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