Q: Is it possible to go from full-time employment to part time for a few years and then retire (from that part-time position)? If so, are there problems for my full-time Federal Employees Retirement System retirement benefits? Otherwise, I guess I do what everyone else does: retire and take a part-time job. However, I like my agency and the work I’m doing. A: Yes, you can retire from a part-time position; however, under current law, going part-time would significantly impact the amount of your annuity when you retire. — Reg Jones

Q: I received a packet from the Office of Personnel Management on April 6, 2006. They informed me I was eligible for relief under the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act. I transferred from the Army as a GS-7 to the U.S. Postal Service. Do you know anyone at the Office of Personnel Management I can contact about the getting USPS to make the settlement; they seem to be dragging their feet in this matter? I had planned to retire in December, but I do want this matter settled before do. A: I can’t give you a name but I…

Q: I am anticipating retirement in July at age 60 with 21 years of service. I have been divorced for five years after a 22-year marriage. Can I draw this special retirement supplement on my ex-husband’s Social Security benefits, and if not, at what age will I be eligible to draw from his benefits? Also, where and how do I obtain a computation of what those payments are/will be? A: If you retire at age 60 with at least 20 years of service, you will receive the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while employed…

Q: I am considering leaving my federal position and had a couple of questions about how this would affect my Federal Employees Retirement System. I have been a federal employee for a little over four years and am nowhere near my minimum retirement age (not eligible for an immediate retirement benefit). I understand that because I do not have five years of creditable service I am not eligible for a deferred annuity under FERS and that I have the option to request a refund of my FERS retirement. Since I am not eligible for a deferred annuity, is it mandatory…

Q: I am a retired teacher affected by windfall elimination provision/government pension offset in California. My question is specific and related to substantial earnings and the WEP/GPO formula. Over my working lifetime (1963-2005) I amassed twice the minimum amount required total earnings for substantial earnings, however, I did not have 30 individual years above the minimum standard. I made substantially more than the requirement in many years thereby doubling the total of the formula, if you added it year by year. I have substantial earnings; does the formula take this into consideration or is the number of years the only…

Q: I am considering employment with the Veterans Affairs hospital. I am already 52 years old. How many years do I have to work to be vested and receive a monthly income based on $56,000 per year if I retire at 60? Also, I have one year and nine months of full-time, permanent employment with the VA from 1992-94. I took the money from the retirement. Can I buy this time back, and will it be added to the vested time for this period if I brought back? A: You would have to be employed for five years to be…

Q: I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System and have worked for the Veterans Affairs Administration for 25 years. How long can I be gone from VA (in consecutive months) and then come back to still have all of my benefits in place? A: While your spouse could be covered within 31 days of her loss of coverage under a non-federal health plan while you are still employed, that is not as clearly an option if you are retired. However, you could add her to your plan during any annual open season. There is no requirement that your spouse…

Q: I am a U.S. Postal Service employee with almost 25 years of service. I worked nearly two years part time at a post office station doing clerical work, such as sorting and boxing mail and other related duties for two or more hours a day. Am I also eligible for those part-time years of service and, if so, who do I ask since our human resource office is under shared services now? A: Whether that time is creditable depends on the type of appointment you had. Since it may well be, you should make the effort to get in…

Q: I am a postal carrier being offered an early out. Will I be able to carry my health insurance if I have only been enrolled for three consecutive years? I have been a carrier for 31 years. I was enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan for the first 19 years. I opted out and was covered by my husband’s plan for the next nine years. I then reinstated three years ago at age 50 to qualify for the five-year requirement for health insurance. A: Yes, you will. Because you were enrolled in the FEHB program before your agency’s…