Retirement requests and HR inaction


Q. I recently was hired by the VA National Call Center as a legal administrative specialist after many years of separation from the federal government. I worked as a senior personnel management specialist for three federal agencies in Boston and left in 1986 when my husband was dying. I have been waiting for more than five months for my service computation date and leave category to be adjusted. When I left federal service, we did not have the benefit of computers, but such adjustments were typically made in less than a month for our employees. As I am a senior, having my time properly credited for CSRS retirement and having access to my correct accumulated leave is important. Repeated contacts to our HR liaison are fruitless. I’m laughingly told by management that some people have waiting four years for their leave to be corrected. I will be retired in four years. I have been researching the regulations and cannot find any required timelines for these actions. Is this correct? Do I have any recourse? I am also appalled that employees are told not to contact HR directly at our VA Columbia National Call Center. We are told to submit a request by email to our supervisors.

Some HR issues are none of my supervisor’s business. This is totally inappropriate. Please advise on recourse for this issue also. I tried to access an email the VA’s Office of HR Management but could not find one.

A. There aren’t any required timelines in either law or regulation. I hate having to tell you that you should be patient, but it’s what you’ll have to do.

As for your being told not to contact HR directly, it may be a policy that was adopted to avoid having the specialists there from being bombarded from all sides by individual requests. Regardless of the reason, you shouldn’t feel obliged to go through your supervisor if the matter is confidential.


About Author

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

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