Browsing: USPS

Refund on buyback?


Q. Worked 33 years for the U.S. Postal Service under Civil Service Retirement System and four years in the Marine Corps. Back in the 1970s, I bought back my USMC time so I could draw both Social Security and civil service retirements as I worked two jobs. Now, with offset in place, I cannot draw Social Security due to USPS retirement. Can I get a refund for my buyback payment since I will never draw Social Security? A. As a CSRS employee, there wouldn’t be an “offset” that would cancel any Social Security benefit to which you might be entitled. Instead, you’d be subject…

Annual leave


Q. After working 26 years for the Postal Service, I transferred to the Defense Department.  Postal Service employees have a higher annual leave carryover limit than other federal sectors. I currently have 466 hours of annual leave and the max carryover for  DoD is 240.  Will I lose all annual leave hours in excess of 240 if not used by Dec. 31? A: According to OPM, “The Postal Service Reorganization Act provides that an employee transferring between the USPS and other agencies may not lose benefits if the employee transfers without a break in service. The employee is entitled to carry over the…

The final word on work-year hours


Q: I am a postal inspector under the Civil Service Retirement System. I plan on retiring with more than 2,500 hours of sick leave. The Office of Personnel Management shows a sick leave conversion chart rate based on 2,087 hours a year. The Postal Service human resources department uses a chart based on 2,080 a year. Upon retirement, does OPM accept the Postal Service conversion rate, or do they calculate based on their own conversion chart? Is there a reason the Postal Service uses a different conversion chart? A: By law, a work year is 2,087 hours long. OPM will…

Eligible for SRS after voluntary early retirement?


Q: I was recently offered voluntary early retirement from the U.S. Postal Service. I have 30 1/2 years of credible service, I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System, and I am 51 years old. I am also considered a reduction-in-force employee because our district office has been closed. Do I qualify for the special retirement supplement? A: You would be eligible for the special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56.

Postal retiree and health insurance


Q: If I retired from the postal service but am still carrying the medical coverage through them. Is it necessary to elect the Part B coverage? I am not drawing Social Security because I am not eligible until I turn 66. I am under the Civil Service portion of the postal retiree plan and am still carrying my spouse on my medical coverage. A: You don’t have to sign up for Medicare Part B if you don’t want to. It’s optional.

Disability retirement and nonfederal re-employment


Q: I receive federal disability retirement from the U.S. Postal Service after 27 1/2 years of service. My disability was approved for anxiety and severe depression. During my postal career, I was a city letter carrier. I have an opportunity to take a job as a medical courier. Do you think this job will jeopardize my continuing to receive disability? The two jobs are a bit similar in nature, however the stress level of the new job would be far less. I do not want to jeopardize my disability in any way. There is no way I could ever return…

What comes after max CSRS coverage?


Q: Where does money go after I have the maximum amount of time under the Civil Service Retirement System? I am still working at the U.S. Postal Service. A: After a CSRS employee has 41 years and 11 months of service, he is entitled to the maximum amount of earned annuity, which is 80 percent. If he continues to work, contributions will still be deducted from his salary; at retirement, he can either receive a refund of those contributions or use the money to buy additional annuity which, like unused sick leave, isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit.

Health coverage in retirement for dual-fed couples


Q: There was an answer to a question that I would like clarification on. The writer, who was retired, said he and his wife were under his family health plan, but now they don’t need to cover their son, and he wants to switch to self-only coverage for both he and his wife (they are both retired federal employees). How is this possible? When you retire, you have to pick the self or family option, and your spouse also has to pick the self or family option. I assume the wife dropped her coverage in this case because you can’t…

Retroactive buyouts for USPS retirees


Q: According to the American Postal Workers Union, the grievance to give postal employees who took early out in 2008 and 2009 severance pay is now 15 months old. Is this going to happen? I voluntarily left, moved over for the next person, then in October 2009, they came out with the $15,000 buyout. I feel that postal employees who retired early really got the shaft. A: No one who accepts an offer to retire early is eligible for severance pay. On the other hand, what you may be asking is whether the U.S. Postal Service is going to give…

Tracking down life insurance benefits


Q: My brother retired from the U.S. Postal Service a few years ago. He passed away a few weeks ago, and his wife asked the San Antonio post office how she could apply for his insurance. She was told that he had no insurance. He specifically told me that he did: I retired from civil service and have insurance, and my brother said that he had the same sort of coverage. If he has a claim it would be a great aid to his widow. A: His widow should call the Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Information Office at 888-767-6738…

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