Q. I am part of CSRS. I was hired into federal service in 1979. In 1982, I was injured on the job and on workers’ compensation for seven years. A few recent retirees have told me they were notified by the Office of Personnel Management of outstanding indebtedness going back over 25 years due to nonpayment of retirement money. When I retire, will I be required to pay OPM for those seven years of retirement money I did not pay into the system while I was on workers’ comp? Or is my retirement annuity based on what I paid into the system?
A. According to OPM, “An employee who is in a leave-without-pay (LWOP) status while in receipt of FECA benefits will receive full credit for the LWOP period in the computation of annuity and for high-3 average salary purposes. LWOP while in receipt of FECA benefits is not subject to the limitation of 6 months credit in each calendar year, as is other LWOP.” See www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C0102.pdf.