Q. I am planning to retire this year at age 60 with 29.7 years of service under FERS. I understand that I will receive the annuity plus special retirement supplement. However, as a widow, I am also allowed to receive my husband’s Social Security payment at age 60. Does this reduce the special retirement supplement? Also, does the special retirement supplement act as earned income under the Social Security earnings test? Finally, does the check you receive after you retire for annual leave count as earned income under the Social Security earnings test?
A. Only earnings from wages and self-employment count. Therefore, the special retirement supplement doesn’t count. However, your lump-sum payment for unused annual leave does. Fortunately, you’ll be covered by the “first year rule,” which usually eliminates the possibility that your special retirement supplement would be reduced.