Q. I have been appointed as a full-time postal carrier this year. However, I have been carrying mail as a rural carrier associate (sub) for over 13 years and haven’t had to or had a chance to contribute to retirement.

I recently found out that I am in the FERS-Revised Annuity Employee grouping at the higher 3.1 percent retirement contribution rate and not the FERS 0.8 percent grouping. It doesn’t seem fair that with all those years of service and commitment, that I would not be under the FERS group and under the FERS-RAE instead, even though I was hired by the Postal Service in 2000. I am penalized by this plan by not being excluded from the FERS-RAE grouping and charged a higher retirement rate without a higher rate of return when I retire. Is there anything to help solve this? I’ve gone years without any benefits and now find out that just because I missed the Dec. 31, 2012, cutoff date (and not by choice), that I will again be punished for nothing?

A. No one punished you. You just had the misfortune of falling on the wrong side of a date set in law. Nothing can change that.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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