Browsing: RETIREMENT

Q. I’ve reached my minimum retirement age and have 29 years under FERS. I have more than 2,400 hours of sick leave. Will the sick leave time be added to my actual service and make me eligible to retire? A. No, it won’t. Sick leave is only added after you have reached the right combination of years and service to retire on an immediate annuity.

Q. I am a reserve solder with 29 years of active duty and have six years until I am eligible for mandatory retirement. Upon completion of my current deployment, I will likely go back to a government civilian job. My understanding is that I can buy back all my years and do an additional 5-plus years of civilian service and retire with both checks intact. I can collect my military retirement when eligible and still work in a civilian capacity until I completely retire from the workforce. Is that correct? A. Only active duty service which meets the definitions found…

Q. I’m going to retire and will receive a lump-sum payment for my unused annual leave. How is that payment calculated? Is it accumulated hours x current hourly wage? Is this considered unearned income? How is it taxed? A. Your lump sum annual leave payment would be based on the hourly rate of basic pay you would have received if you had remained on the job. If you retire before an annual pay adjustment becomes effective, any hours before that change will be computed at the old rate and those after the change at the new rate. Any step increase…

Q. I’m a FERS employee and plan to retire at minimum retirement age, which is 56. However, I’ll have fewer than 30 years of service. Is the 5 percent per year penalty based on each year short of 30 years, or is it based on each year short of age 62? A. The MRA+10 provision allows FERS employees to retire at their minimum retirement age with fewer than 30 years of service. If you retire under that provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (or 5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you are under…

Q. I have been working under FERS. I plan to retire in 13 years at age 67. Before coming to work for the government, I worked in the private sector and paid into the Social Security system for over 30 years. Will I receive both a full FERS and a full Social Security benefit when I retire? A. Yes. You’ll receive a FERS annuity based on your years of FERS-covered employment and, because you will have reached your full Social Security retirement age, a Social Security benefit based on all your Social Security-covered employment.

Q. I retired a year-and-a-half ago. When my wife died, I informed OPM and sent them the paperwork needed to eliminate the reduction in my annuity to provide a survivor benefit for her. OPM recomputed my annuity and increased it, but only for the months between when she died and the present. Shouldn’t I have received a payment that was retroactive to the date I retired? A. No. Because the law doesn’t provide for retroactive payments, OPM could only increase your annuity prospectively beginning with the month in which your wife died.

Q. I was a government employee for several years and didn’t ask for a refund of my retirement contributions when I left. How can I find a record of my employment and if I’m eligible for a deferred annuity? A. Your employment record is stored in the National Personnel Records Center, located in St. Louis, Mo. You’ll find the instructions for getting that information at www.archives.gov/st-louis/civilian-personnel/index.html#. Once you have it, you can complete OPM Form 1496A, Application for Deferred Retirement, available at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/opm1496a.pdf, and send it to OPM. If you have at least 5 years of creditable service and are at least 62…

Q. I’m retiring with four months of sick leave, bringing my total time in FERS to 32 years, 1 month at age 65. In the interest of increasing final annuity, I have been using annual leave, rather than sick leave, for medical appointments and when ill. In retrospect, it seems I did not accomplish much, and that using sick leave as intended and preserving annual leave to increase lump sum payout might have been a better strategy. Correct? A. Maybe, maybe not. There are too many variables. While unused annual leave will be paid out at the hourly rate you…

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