Browsing: RETIREMENT

Q. I’m a FERS employee and plan to retire at minimum retirement age, which is 56. However, I’ll have fewer than 30 years of service. Is the 5 percent per year penalty based on each year short of 30 years, or is it based on each year short of age 62? A. The MRA+10 provision allows FERS employees to retire at their minimum retirement age with fewer than 30 years of service. If you retire under that provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (or 5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you are under…

Q. I have been working under FERS. I plan to retire in 13 years at age 67. Before coming to work for the government, I worked in the private sector and paid into the Social Security system for over 30 years. Will I receive both a full FERS and a full Social Security benefit when I retire? A. Yes. You’ll receive a FERS annuity based on your years of FERS-covered employment and, because you will have reached your full Social Security retirement age, a Social Security benefit based on all your Social Security-covered employment.

Q. I retired a year-and-a-half ago. When my wife died, I informed OPM and sent them the paperwork needed to eliminate the reduction in my annuity to provide a survivor benefit for her. OPM recomputed my annuity and increased it, but only for the months between when she died and the present. Shouldn’t I have received a payment that was retroactive to the date I retired? A. No. Because the law doesn’t provide for retroactive payments, OPM could only increase your annuity prospectively beginning with the month in which your wife died.

Q. I was a government employee for several years and didn’t ask for a refund of my retirement contributions when I left. How can I find a record of my employment and if I’m eligible for a deferred annuity? A. Your employment record is stored in the National Personnel Records Center, located in St. Louis, Mo. You’ll find the instructions for getting that information at www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/index.html#. Once you have it, you can complete OPM Form 1496A, Application for Deferred Retirement, available at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/opm1496a.pdf, and send it to OPM. If you have at least 5 years of creditable service and are at least 62…

Q. I’m retiring with four months of sick leave, bringing my total time in FERS to 32 years, 1 month at age 65. In the interest of increasing final annuity, I have been using annual leave, rather than sick leave, for medical appointments and when ill. In retrospect, it seems I did not accomplish much, and that using sick leave as intended and preserving annual leave to increase lump sum payout might have been a better strategy. Correct? A. Maybe, maybe not. There are too many variables. While unused annual leave will be paid out at the hourly rate you…

Q. I’m a firefighter under the special retirement plan. I’m at 20 years of civilian service but 44 years old. I meet the minimum service time, but not the age. Can I leave the civil service now? If I do, when would I receive my annuity? A. If you leave before being eligible to retire on an immediate annuity, you could apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 57. That annuity would be based on your high-3 as a firefighter on the day you left. Note: You wouldn’t be able to reenroll in…

Q. I am a 46-year-old employee covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System. I have been enrolled in the FEHB for the last six years. If I resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62, will I be able to reenroll in the FEHB when I collect my annuity? A. No, you won’t be able to do that. Deferred annuitants aren’t eligible to reenroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

Q. I was 56 years old with 33 years total government service and retired regular FERS then applied for Social Security Disability Insurance and was approved with back pay after the first 6 months of my retirement date. I only got $685 of my special retirement supplement because several of those years was active duty, which I repaid within the first 36 months of my career at the U.S. Postal Service. Now I am wondering what will happen to my annuity when I turn 62 and my SRS is eliminated. A. At age 62, your special retirement supplement will end;…

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