Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Possible Involuntary Separation Due to Reorganization

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

What are the rules and regulations regarding an organization doing a major reorganization with the possibility of involuntary separation? What are my rights? If I am 50 with over 30 years of experience, should I retire now or find another job until I reach age 55? If my job is abolished under CSRS, would I receive a 2 percent penalty each year until I reach 55?

A:

You ask a lot of questions! And they are good ones. If, as a result of a reduction-in-force or a job abolishment, you are separated or reduced in grade more than five grade levels you qualify for discontinued service, or early retirement. Under CSRS, you do have the 2 percent reduction in your annuity for each year under the age of 55. You have reached your high three; it just may not be the high three you would like to have. Whether you retire now or keep working depends on your personal circumstances, such as whether you could do something outside of the government. I suggest you obtain financial advice on the options you have.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.

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Q & A Session – Losing Retirement Because Placed on a PIP

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

I have 18 years of federal service and was just placed on a PIP. Will this cause me to lose my CSRS retirement?

A:

Your annuity is not threatened by a PIP, even if you are fired because you fail the PIP. Also, if you are fired for performance, you have enough years of service to retire and appeal to the MSPB at the same time.

 

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.

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Q & A Session – Court Order Allocating Retirement Benefit

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

I am a CSRS employee and looking to retire next year. I am divorced and wanted to know how to find out if I have any court judgments filed against my federal retirement?

A:

A court order can allocate a retirement benefit from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) as a result of a divorce.  The court order must expressly direct the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to pay a portion of the monthly CSRS or FERS benefits.

The OPM regulations covering garnishments can be found in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 581 and 582.

Inquiries about court order/garnishment of annuity for alimony or child support, apportionment of annuity awarded by a court, and court ordered survivor benefits should be made to OPM in writing at:

Office of Personnel Management
Court Order/Garnishment-Retirement
P.O. Box 17
Washington, DC 20044

Include your retirement claim number (if known), full name, date of birth and social security number.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.

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Q & A Session – Losing a Government Annuity

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

If a federal employee who has worked for the government for over 20 years loses his or her security clearance and is forced to leave the position, will the employee lose his or her FERS or CSRS annuity?

A:

No, not necessarily. The only basis for a federal employee to lose an annuity is a conviction for crimes related to treason, espionage or sabotage. The simple loss of a clearance, without more, is not a basis for losing entitlement to either a FERS or CSRS annuity.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.

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