Browsing: income

12 questions on VERA

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Q. I am a letter carrier, age 52, started in 1985 and have 28 years of creditable service. If I understand what I’ve gleaned from the posts here and the Postal Service were to offer me a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority this year, 1.  Would I begin my annuity immediately? 2.  Would I have no reductions in calculations of my annuity? (average high-3 x 1 percent x 28) 3.  Would I receive credit for half of my sick leave and all of my annual leave? (How are these applied?) 4.  Would I receive the special retirement supplement beginning at age…

VSIP and Social Security

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Q. I am a FERS employee with 23+ years of federal service and 62 years old. My agency is offering Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay to eligible employees, including those who are retirement-eligible. Would the incentive reduce the amount of Social Security I can draw this year? A. VSIPs are considered earned income. To find out if accepting one would affect your Social Security benefit, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/rule.htm and see how the “first year rule” would apply to your situation.

First-year rule

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Q. In 2012, what were the limitations for self-employment income for the first year of retirement, which was also the first year I received Social Security benefits? A. You’ll find what you’re looking for at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/rule.htm.

High-3 and pretax FEHB premiums

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Q. I was just told by my human resources specialist that when pretax Federal Employees Health Benefits premiums reduce my taxable income, they also reduce my salary for the computation of high-3 average salary for retirement. Is this true? It doesn’t sound right to me, and I’ve never heard such a thing. A. You haven’t heard such a thing because it isn’t true. Your high-3 is based on your highest average pay rates during any three consecutive years before any deductions are taken from that pay.

Special retirement supplement

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Q. I am a FERS retiree who was RIF’d into retirement in October 2009 with 27 years of service. I reached my minimum retirement age of 56 on Jan 4. I understand I will receive the special retirement supplement for first year regardless of my employment income. Will that continue for the 12 calendar months from February through January 2014? Or is it only until Dec. 31, which would be 11 months? After that first year, I understand that the Office of Personnel Management will evaluate my previous year’s income (I assume total 2013) and then cut off my supplement or at least adjust…

Combine Postal, reserve service?

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Q. I am a postal employee looking to continue my service with the Army Reserve. Child care cost is about to pass my income level with the Postal Service. With my wife as the main bread winner, we are considering having me separate from the Postal Service to be a homemaker. I have 15 years with the Postal Service and some military time. If I enter the Army Reserve, could I combine my Postal Service years with the reserve retirement? A. No, you can’t. There is no provision in law that would permit you to get credit for your civilian…

Military buyback

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Q. I am 47 years old and worked for the post office for three years. During that time, I bought back my military service time of eight years. Am I eligible to someday get that retirement for the 11 years? If not, will I be reimbursed what it cost to buy back my time? Is the Thrift Savings Plan a separate entity, and when can I start receiving that? I’m currently working away from the federal realm. A. Reg: No, you wouldn’t be eligible for an annuity because you didn’t have at least five years of actual civilian service. If…

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