Browsing: retire

Opting out of FERS

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Q. Is there any way for me to opt out of the Basic Benefit offered in FERS? I just started at work today as a GS employee. I did not realize that the Basic Plan will require me to contribute 4.4 percent of my income to a retirement plan that pays 1 percent per year served. Please check my math. Does that mean I will have to draw retirement for a minimum of 4.4 years before I break even on these payments? That is without considering any growth rate on these funds.

Retirement at GS-13

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Q. I am a GS-13 with 10 years of federal service. If I were to retire with 20 years of service at GS-13, what would be the retirement pay for GS-13? I understand about TSP and Social Security, but I’d like to know what retirement pay I would receive as a GS-13.

Best date to retire

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Q. I have 24 years of service in federal law enforcement. Nov. 25 will make 25 years government service. I am 52 and will retire this year. I have heard and read the best dates for FERS to retire in 2014 are May 31, June 28, Nov. 29 and Dec. 28. I’ve read no matter which day in the month a FERS employee retires, the employee’s retirement becomes effective the first day of the following month. The first annuity check will then be dated the first day of the following month. If I retire on Oct. 18, the end of…

Disability retirement

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Q. I am a GS-1811 with just over 16 years of federal service. I was grandfathered into federal service at 42 and will have to retire at 62 (I am 59). Additionally, I have bought back 12 years of Army active-duty time. My Agency has proposed my removal for performance reasons, which I can directly attribute to my worsening Adult ADD. They are leaning toward an involuntary disability retirement vice removal. If I am disability retired, will my 12 years of bought-back Army time be included in the annuity calculation? Will it also be included in the subsequent calculation when…

Minimum retirement age

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Q. My wife is under CSRS with 31 years of service, but we are concerned that she may be moved into CSRS Offset upon retirement. What is the minimum retirement age for someone in this position? A. CSRS Offset applies only to employees who had a break in service that exceeded a year and ended after 1983, and had five years of service as of Jan. 1, 1987. If that doesn’t describe your wife’s situation, then she is a pure CSRS employee. Like any CSRS or CSRS Offset employee, she can retire at age 55 with 30 years of service.

Eligibility to receive benefits

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Q. I worked for the post office for 23 years under FERS and resigned at the age of 48 to work in the private sector. I am 53 and would like to know when I would be eligible to receive retirement benefits. Also, I worked for four years with the state government. Would those years count towards retirement? A. If you didn’t receive a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’d be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62. That annuity would be based solely on your years of FERS service.

Federal vesting

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Q. I keep hearing that it takes five years to get vested in the federal government. However, no one seems to know what happens after five years of employment, and I keep hearing different stories.  Do you happen to know what happens at the five-year mark? A. I can’t imagine what stories you’ve been hearing. When an employee has worked for the federal government for five years full-time (or its part-time equivalent), he has secured an entitlement to an annuity when he meets the age and service requirements to retire. If he leaves before having five years of service, he’s…

Using sick leave

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Q. I am a CSRS employee and have worked about 40 years. I plan to retire by the end of this year. I have about 1,659 hours of sick leave. How many hours of sick leave is equivalent to one service month, so I could plan to use the remaining sick leave and not lose it? A. Let’s get one thing clear from the beginning. You have no right to burn off your sick leave. It may only be used for legitimate reasons spelled out in law and regulation. If you want a rough estimate of how many hours it…

Refund of contributions

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Q. I went to work for the federal government in 1974 under CSRS and worked until 1984, when I resigned and drew my retirement out. I returned to federal service in 2007 under FERS. I will have 20 years service counting military next May 4th. How will drawing my retirement out affect my retirement check? A. Although you got a refund of your retirement contributions before October 1, 1991, you’ll still get credit for that time in determining your length of service; however, your annuity will be actuarially reduced based on the amount you owe, including accrued interest, and your…

Location and high-3

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Q. I am a Defense Department employee in Washington D.C. If I change my locality three months before I retire Jan. 1, when I retire would the lesser locality pay kick into my base and be used as the high-3? A. How may times do I have to say this? Your high-3 is your highest three consecutive years (78 pay periods) of average basic pay, regardless of when they occur in your career.

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