The Retirement blog is taking a short break and will return April 24. Feel free to continue sending your questions. Thank you for your loyal readership!
Q. I am a FERS employee who plans to retire in May. Should I choose my official retirement date as May 28 or May 31? And if one is better than the other, why is that so? I have been told two different things regarding the date. One: It has to be last day of the month because I am FERS. Two: It needs to be last day of a pay period.
Q. I was furloughed last year with 8 months to go before being fully vested in my pension. My contributions were refunded to me. My question is twofold. If I return to public (nonmilitary service), would I be eligible for a pension after 8 months as if I never left? Am I entitled to have the contributions made by the government returned to my pension account that accrued during my prior employment that was lost to me when I was furloughed?
Q. I am a GS-15 with eight years of service. My entire office (including my senior manager) is on furlough. After the start of the furlough, I was offered and accepted a position in the private sector. My new employer understands the holding pattern federal employees are in and is being flexible on my start date in the new position. How do I resign during the furlough? Whom do I contact if I am prohibited from using my access to my federal information technology resources? Is there any advantage to waiting until the end of the furlough?
Q. My Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay was approved with an effective date of Sept. 7. My retirement packet was received at Fort Riley on Sept. 17. I have not received any money for VSIP, annual leave or retirement due to the furlough. Will any of this money be paid during the shutdown, or will I have to wait until the new appropriation is approved?
Q. I am a re-employed FERS annuitant. My salary is being offset for my annuity. I need five years to be eligible for recomputation. Will being furloughed as a nonessential employee interrupt my five years?
Q. I am a 66-year-old federal employee with 24 years of service whose office is offering buyouts to fix furlough woes we are experiencing. I am healthy and, while I would love to be able to retire, I am uncertain. We are being told if we take the buyout, we can get unemployment benefits and COBRA coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. Would this be a smart move for me?
Q. If I submit my application for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and my VSIP incentive is denied, will I be forced to retire/resign? I have 24+ years and am over 58 years of age. My position is “overhire,” and we are undergoing furlough with very likely RIF.