Q. I have been approved for a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and, on the letter, it asked me if I ever received severance pay. I did when my Defense Department position at the base I worked closed in 1996. I received eight weeks of severance pay. I was put on priority placement and accepted a position in DoD in August 1997. I have worked the same position since. What, if anything, does my severance pay have to do with the VSIP payout. Does the amount get reduced by the severance pay I received at the other DoD position?

Q. Do I have to be on active federal service to apply for retirement?  In other words, can I resign from my current GS job, not work and check the “retired scene” for a month or two (i.e. take a break), then apply for retirement if I so desire, but keep the option not to retire and apply instead for another job if I find not working to be boring? And if my decision is to go ahead and retire, are there special requirements? How do I apply for retirement if/when I am not on current register?

Q. I retired in March 2012. I got a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment paid to me after I retired. I started my Social Security at that time. I have recently gotten several confusing letters from the Social Security Administration saying I owe them different sums of money for overpayment due to having too much income. They are including my buyout gross payment as regular income. Is there some official source you can give me to pass onto them that my $25,000 should not be considered in my earnings putting me over the limit for receiving benefits following my retirement. I…

Q. I am retired military with 20+ years of active-duty service serving in a full-time competitive service position under FERS. Eleven months of my military time is counted as “creditable military service” since it was served in a qualifying campaign. My service computation date for leave was adjusted by 11 months for the creditable time. Should my SCD for reduction in force also be adjusted based on this time?

Q. I retired under a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority in January 2009. I was also approved for Social Security disability in 2008. I’ve had 22 years under FERS, and I’m now 58. Should I have been receiving the special retirement supplement since I never applied for FERS disability?

Q. I understand that employees already eligible for retirement will get no payout on a reduction in force. Many of us have a mix of (bought back) military and FERS, with only the combination rendering us eligible to retire. Can we take the RIF based on our FERS years, and then combine our FERS and military years into one retirement? I could not find that you’d already addressed this question.

Q. I am 52 years old, 25 years in FERS, potentially being offered a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. If I do the VSIP, I will be employable at my current salary outside the government. If I take the VSIP, can I carry my Federal Employees Health Benefits into retirement if I pay for it? Can I delay collecting my retirement until age 62 and carry my FEHB through to retirement?

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