Browsing: PAY

Reporting retiree pay on taxes

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Q. This year’s tax (2012) is the first I will file as a FERS retiree. I understand a portion of my retiree pay is a return of contributions and is tax-free. How do I report this? Will it be identified on my 1099? A. The 1099 form that the Office of Personnel Management sends you will show the amount of your retirement contributions. Plug that number into the worksheet you’ll find in Internal Revenue Service Publication 721, which you can access at www.irs.gov.

Military buyback

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Q. I was active-duty Navy (1980-84), then active Coast Guard (1991-2000). I received a tentative offer for employment with Army a few weeks ago (I’ve been a contractor since 2000). All required documents are submitted. Now I wait. How do I buy my 13 years active duty into FERS? Can I use my existing 401(k) to pay this? How much would it cost me? I also found out that, as of Jan. 1, the deduction for retirement went up to 3.1 percent. I guess a tentative offer before Dec. 31 doesn’t count for hired, so my pay is decreased. Adding…

Medical disability delay

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Q. How long after the last day of a pay period should one begin receiving their first annuity check? My former human resources department placed a remedy ticket with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, yet still no paycheck. The DFAS received my Office of Personnel Management paperwork five days after the last day of the pay period. A. According to OPM, “Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations specifies the annuity commencing dates. For disability applications, the date the annuity begins is either the date after the last day of pay or the day following separation. The check dated the…

Retirement eligibility and annuity computation

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Q. I retired from active-duty service in the U.S. Army in 2002. I became a Department of the Army civilian in 2009. When — how many years — can I retire from federal service? What is the computation/formula used to determine retirement pay? A. When you can retire is determined by your age and service. You can retire at age 62 with five years of service, 60 and 20, at your minimum retirement age with 30 or at your MRA+10 (but fewer than 30). If you make a deposit for your years of active-duty service, you’ll get credit for that time in…

Pay computation

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Q. I voluntarily retired May 3, 2004, GS-2210-12, Step 9, salary $73,703, with 35 years of federal service. If I should accept a pending job offer and return to federal service as a GS-0391-13, how would my pay be computed and at what step at the GS-13 grade? A. Assuming that you meet the qualifications requirements to move from a series where you were once employed (2210- Information Technology Management) to one in the 0391 series (Telecommunications Services), there is no requirement that you be appointed at the same grade and step that you held before you retired. If the agency makes…

External hires

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Q: Can external hires actually negotiate salary when most (if not all) federal vacancies state a fairly wide pay range? I’ve heard different things, but wish to know from you what the real answer is. A: Agencies have the authority to negotiate the starting pay of an external hire within the pay range for a position. Whether they are willing to do so, and to what extent, depends on the skills and abilities the candidate brings to the table, his current salary, and how critical the agency’s needs are.

Step increases can help thaw wage freeze

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Whether you are an employee or a retiree, this year is a real bust when it comes to benefits. Employee pay scales are frozen at 2010 levels for two years under a presidential proposal that was approved by Congress. Frozen are cost-of-living adjustments to the General Schedule, Senior Executive Service, wage grade and other pay scales in the executive branch for 2011 and 2012. On the bright side, employees eligible for step increases will still receive them in those years. About 1.1 million GS employees — three-quarters of the GS population — will receive $2.5 billion in raises through step…

Early retirement and severance

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Q: I am a federal firefighter (GS-081) facing an involuntary early retirement. I am 48 and have 27 years of service. My Agency is offering severance packages to those folks who can’t retire early. Do I have the right to accept a severance package? And if so, how will it affect my involuntary early retirement? A: If you were eligible for a reduced annuity under a voluntary retirement authority, you wouldn’t be entitled to receive severance pay.

Basic pay is actual amount received

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Q: Why is it that the GS base salary does not equal the annual salary when multiplied out? (I’m a GS 13/3 in D.C. My annual salary is $94,969.  My base salary is computed as $45.51/hour x 80 hours x 26 weeks = $94,660.80, a difference of $308.20, or approximately 38 hours). We’re in the middle of refinancing the house and the bank is asking. A: Regardless of what you see on a pay chart, your basic pay will always be the actual amount received during a calendar year, which, by law, is 2,087 hours long.

Military to government employee

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Q: I retired from the Army in August 2008, after 28 years of service. I currently receive my retirement pay and VA Compensation. If I get hired for a government job, how will my current benefits be affected? A: Being hired as a civilian employee of the federal government won’t have any effect on your military retired pay or Veterans Affairs compensation. However, if you want to get credit for that period of active duty service in determining your eligibility to retire from a civilian job and in your annuity computation, you’d need to make a deposit to the Civil…

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