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 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. 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?
Q. I have been approved for FERS disability retirement but I am not receiving any checks yet. My High-3 pay is around $53,300. I only worked for 2½ years. What would my annuity payments be? I am 65 years old and on $1,100 a month of Social Security disability. How will the FERS disability affect my Social Security disability?
Q. I am retiring Aug. 31 this year as a FERS employee from the National Institutes of Health, an agency with the Department of Health and Human Services. I carried more than 240 hours and I get eight hours each pay period. I currently have 312.5 hours. I have two pay periods left before I retire, which would give me 16 additional hours. And then based on what my final pay check will include, with an annual leave payout on Sept. 9, I calculate that those three pay periods will add 24 hours, which brings my leave to a total of 336.5 hours.…
Q. I bought back 20 years of military time during which I paid into Social Security. What is the reason/law why it applies to the FERS pension calculations but not the special retirement supplement?