Browsing: benefits

Military buyback

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Q. I recently spoke with an individual from the Office of Personnel Management’s retirement services regarding offset of FERS pension for Veterans Affairs disability. The individual told me that my VA disability would not be offset from my FERS pension if I was combining my military time with my civil service time. However, the individual also told me that if I buy back my military time and then waive my military retired pay all of my military benefits, medical, ID card, commissary, etc., would also be stopped. Has the law changed? A. I’m not aware that anything has changed. However,…

Taxes

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Q. How does my dad change the amount of taxes to be taken out on his civil service retirement check? He is not taking out enough and is getting penalized. A. Have him call the Office of Personnel Management at 1-888-767-6738 or 724-794-2005 and talk to one of the benefits specialists.

65 or 66?

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Q. I have been retired under Social Security disability since 2000. I declined Part B because of federal insurance. My Postal Service disability turned over to regular pension at age 62.  I am now 64. According to new law, I am eligible for regular Social Security at age 66. Will my federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield continue until age 66, or does it end at age 65? And do benefits change at all? Do I then have to apply for Part B at 65, or do I wait to apply at 66? And do I have to pay a penalty for…

Excepted service and RIF

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Q. I am 52 years old and have 12 years in a federal excepted service position. Due to my excepted service status, do I understand correctly that I have no bump or retreat rights in the event of a reduction in force? For what retirement benefits would I be eligible under these circumstances? A. If you left your contributions in the retirement fund, you would be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62.

Social Security disability benefits

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Q. I’m 50 years old, have worked for the Postal Service for 28 years, and am eligible for the voluntary early retirement offer. Would I be eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits also? I am with FERS and have been profoundly deaf since birth. A. As a FERS employee who is covered by Social Security, you would be eligible to apply to SSDI. To find out if you would qualify for that benefit, go to www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify.htm.

USPS retirement, spouse death and remarriage

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Q. I am a 77-year-old widow of a postmaster with 30-plus years’ service who passed away in 1993. I have since received spousal benefits plus insurance coverage. I do not receive Social Security. I have not remarried. However, if I marry a widower who retired from military service (Marine officer and FBI) after 30-plus years, how will my benefits and insurance be affected? A. They won’t be affected.

Discontinued service retirement

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Q. I’m 60 with 24½ years of service. I was gone on detail and my position was filled with a permanent employee. So we are now both in the same position on the org charts. They are having me do the work no one wants to do, like a directives project that was due in 2009. I have been waiting for a buyout, but can they offer me a discontinued service out and are there any benefits? A. No, they can’t. The only way you’d be eligible for a discontinued service retirement is if your agency officially proposed to separate…

Disability

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Q. I have been on Department of Labor/Office of Workers’ Compensation Program for approximately 15 years due to an on-the-job injury. It does not look like I will ever return to work. What are my options? And where can I find answers about my situation? A. If you don’t recover from your disability, your OWCP payments will continue for the rest of your life. If you also applied for disability retirement when you applied for OWCP benefits, you could, of course, drop those benefits and become a disability retiree. However, before you did that, you’d want to be sure that…

Benefits leaving federal work after nine years

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Q. I have an opportunity to take a private-sector position that would be very rewarding. Can I maintain my federal government benefits when I leave? I’ve been a federal employee for nine years. A. If you don’t ask for a refund of your retirement contributions, you’d be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62.

Postal Service retirement

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Q. I will be 60 years old in December and have worked for the U.S. Postal Service 24 years. The Postal Service is cutting back. If I wanted, could I or resign and defer retirement at a later date without losing accumulated benefits? A. Because you are 60 and have at least 20 years of service, you can retire on an immediate, unreduced annuity any time you want.

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