Q. I will be age 56 on Feb. 15 with 22 years FERS time and nine years, 11 months active-duty military time (deposit paid); 31 years total. I also retired from the Navy Reserve and looking forward to a pension at 60. I would like to retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System at the end of 2012.
1. Will the nine years, 11 months be used to calculate my special retirement supplement? If no, why not?
2. Will the nine years, 11 months affect my social security benefits at age 62; if so, how and where can I find more information?
3. Will the nine years, 11 months affect my military retirement pension? If so, why and how?
4. Why is all this pertinent information not disclosed by personnel offices upon hiring so that employees can make better decisions about retirement earlier?
5. How long does it take the Office of Personnel Management to adjudicate my annuity?
6. Would it be more beneficial for me to withdraw my service deposit for the active-duty time and work another nine years and forget the confusion?
A. 1. No. By law, the special retirement supplement is based solely on actual years of service as a FERS employee.
2. All years of employment where Social Security deductions were taken from your pay will be included in determining the amount of your Social Security benefit.
3. The fact that you have made a deposit for your active-duty time won’t have any effect on your reserve retired pay.
4. Some agency personnel offices do a good job of providing the information that employees need; other don’t. Apparently yours is one of the latter.
5. I don’t know how long it will take. Not surprisingly, it varies.
6. You don’t really have a choice. Having made the deposit, the only way you could get a refund is if you resigned from the government before being eligible to retire and withdrew both your deposit and your retirement contributions.