Author Reg Jones

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

Q. Do CSRS Offset retirees receive separate payments from Social Security and the Office of Personnel Management? A. If you retire before age 62, you will receive a single annuity payment from OPM. When you reach age 62, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS offset employee, and you will begin receiving a separate Social Security payment that represents the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset. That payment will be larger if you have other Social Security-covered service outside of your years as…

Q. I am a FERS employee who is planning on retiring in December 2019. Since the last day in December is in the middle of a pay period, if I leave on 12/31/2019, would I need to use leave to “fill out” the rest of the pay period? A. No, you wouldn’t. Since only employees can use leave, you couldn’t “fill out” the rest of the pay period after you retired on Dec. 31.

Q. I retired in 2011 from the United States Postal Service. I kept BCBS insurance. I only signed up for Medicare Part A. If I choose to sign up for Part B now and drop BCBS, will I have to pay a penalty? A. Yes, you would have to pay a penalty. And it might be a whopper. Because you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible to do so, the premium you’d have to pay would be 10 percent higher for each year you were eligible to enroll in Part B and didn’t.

Q. I’m a FERS disability annuitant. Assuming that I continue to be disabled, what happens when I reach age 62? A. When you reach age 62, your FERS disability benefit will be recomputed as if you had worked to age 62. Your actual service will be added to the time you spent on disability and the total time will be multiplied by 1.1 percent That figure will then be multiplied by your high-3 salary on the day you were found disabled. That dollar figure will be increased by any cost-of-living increases paid to FERS retirees since you retired on disability.

Q. I plan to retire on Dec. 31. I have 2,396 hours of sick leave and understand that any unused hours leave will be used to increase my annuity. I want to find out how many hours I can use before the end of the year without affecting the maximum number of hours that will be used to increase my annuity. A. I can’t tell you how many hours you can use. What I can tell you is that annuities are based on all years and full months of service. Any days that exceed a full month will be added…

Q. I was born in 1967. I’m covered by FERS and want to retire at the age of 55 when I’ll have 34 years of federal service. Will I take a huge hit in my annuity? A. Because you were born in 1967, your minimum retirement age is 56 years and 6 months. Although you wouldn’t be eligible to retire, you could resign and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your MRA. However, if you did that, you wouldn’t be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement nor would you be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB or…

Q. I was born in 1967. I’m covered by FERS and want to retire at the age of 55 when I’ll have 34 years of federal service. Will I take a huge hit in my annuity? A. Because you were born in 1967, your minimum retirement age is 56 years and 6 months. Although you wouldn’t be eligible to retire, you could resign and apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your MRA. However, if you did that, you wouldn’t be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement, nor would you be able to re-enroll in either the FEHB…

Q. I’m a 58-year-old FERS retiree who worked as a GS-1811. Can I be rehired as a GS-391? A. Yes, if you meet the qualification requirements. However, as a rule the salary of your new position would be reduced by the amount of your annuity. On top of that, your special retirement supplement would be reduced or stopped because of the annual Social Security earnings limitation. In 2019, that limit is $17,640.

Q. I’ve just been offered a job in a federal agency. Because I’m an Army retiree, I’ve been told that I won’t get any credit for that time in determining my annual leave accrual rate. It doesn’t seem right that I won’t get any credit while others who served less time and didn’t retire do get credit for their time. Why is that? A. When it enacted the Dual Compensation Act in 1964, Congress adopted a compromise between the view that retired members should receive preference and full credit for their service and the view that there should be no…

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