By Reg Jones
Q. My position is relocating well out of the commuting area. I cannot relocate along with that position. If I were placed in a new position at my current location but at a lower grade level, would I be entitled to save pay per 5 CFR 536?
Q. Three years ago, I took a disability retirement from a motor vehicle accident. In the past three years, I rehabilitated myself to go back into the federal workforce to repay monies I had received from the Office of Personnel Management for the disability retirement. I was a GS-05 at the Veterans Affairs Department. Am I eligible to apply for the Career Transition Assistance Program, as well as my Schedule A Hiring Authority when applying for new, open GS-06 positions?
Q. I am a 54-year-old federal government employee under FERS. I have 10 years federal service from the military and three years of permanent service as a civilian government employee for a total of 13 years (I have not bought back the 10 years). I also have 13 years of state time from teaching. I would like to know if I can transfer my 13 years of state time to my federal time for retirement and vice versa. I am concerned about my retirement, and I am considering leaving the government without a retirement and working for either a public school or college as either a teacher or an administrative assistant.
Q. Can unused sick leave be added to actual service time to meet the 30-year threshold to be eligible for the special retirement supplement at my minimum retirement age?
Q. I have been employed in civil service for almost three years now. I am still in the process of paying for my military buyback. I had signed up for the funds to be taken directly from my pay. It took almost a year to receive all of the forms for starting my buyback. I am about to reach the three-year point when interest will be applied to the remaining balance. I am buying back more than 11 years of military service, so it is a significant amount, and I would like to send in a check to cover most of the amount I have left. I cannot locate a phone number or email or address to contact someone about this. I would like to have the balance paid before interest starts accruing. Could you help with this?
Q. My agency is proposing my removal of federal service due to my condition, which I have had since being hired in 2002. They claim I am “unfit for duty based on my Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork from my physician.” Am I qualified to claim disability retirement?
Q. I am employed by the U.S. Treasury/Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and, based on service I have had with U.S. Treasury agencies, I have 17 years worth of credit under FERS.
However, between May 2000 and May 2005, I had spent five years working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. I am trying to determine if that time spent at the Federal Reserve can be credited for FERS retirement purposes.
Q. I have 21 years of FERS employment and, before working for the government, I had seven years with Florida Retirement System, working for state government. I recently heard that my previous state government work might be creditable with my current government employment. Can I file for my credit of service from the state retirement system to credit to my federal government work? I still have about three more years before I am 63 and able to retire.
Q. I was promoted to GS-11 this year. I have the time required for retirement. How long do I need to serve in this current grade (GS-11) before I can retire with this grade?
Q. If I get an early retirement (I am 50 with 29 years), when can I go back as a rehired annuitant?
Q. If I resign from the federal government, what happens to my sick leave?
Q. The situation is this:
* 14 years active duty (and have paid deposit)
* Six more years of civil service, then left without receiving a rebate on retirement contributions
* FERS calculator says I could draw retirement at age 60 with a total of 20 years (14 + 6) of creditable service
* I continue to serve in the Reserve and will draw a Reserve retirement at age 60, as well
Will I be eligible to draw both retirements, with no relationship between them or reduction to FERS retirement after military retirement pay begins?
Q. I have four years of active-duty time and four years of reserve time, as well. Am I able to buy back this time for retirement?
Q. I’m age 50 with 25 years of non-Postal service under FERS. If I have a medical condition that qualifies me for disability retirement, will I still be covered under FEHB after retiring on disability? I would only pay my portion of the premium as if I am still employed, correct? I have been enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits my entire career.
And would I still receive the special retirement supplement when I hit my minimum retirement age of 56, even though I am retired on disability?
Q. I am a CSRS Postal Service employee, and I understand that to carry Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance coverage into retirement, I must be enrolled for five years prior to retirement. I am enrolled in the basic coverage, as well as Option B. I am considering eliminating the Option B coverage but do not want to do anything that may have an adverse effect upon retirement. If I eliminate the Option B coverage but retain the Basic coverage, will I be allowed to choose any optional coverage at the time of my retirement, or must I be enrolled in the specific optional coverage for five years to carry it into retirement?
Q. I am a FERS-covered firefighter with a retirement date of Dec. 30.
I have been on the job since Dec. 30, 1984 (at retirement, I will have 29 years and one day) and I am 49. I have easily met the FERS firefighter retirement requirement of 25 years, any age.
I know the mandatory retirement age is 57 (I don’t need to concern myself with that).
I have been informed to be prepared for three to four months (potentially up to six months) before I would receive a “full/normal” retirement check.
I have recently started a small business which will be my self-employment after the fire department retirement.
I have read that I would be exempt from the “earnings test” as it pertains to the special retirement supplement reduction until I reach the minimum retirement age.
1. Is there a minimum retirement age for firefighters? If so, what is that age?
2. Have I already passed that age?
3. Is there a limit on what I can make in my self-employment and still draw the Social Security supplement?
4. Is three to four months (or more) to receive a “full/normal” retirement check a true/realistic time frame?
5. Is it true that “scheduled/mandatory” overtime is to be included along with the high-3 calculations?
Q. I have scheduled my use-or-lose leave and have been approved. If I am not able to use it at the time it is scheduled, will I be able to use it in January after the cut off time to use your use-or-lose?
Q. I am 55. I wish to stop working for the government in three years, when I will be 58. I will have 26 years under FERS. I have approximately 2,000 hours of sick leave. Can I defer my retirement and submit for retirement at age 60? Would I lose my sick time, or would it be credited?
Q. I am a Postal Service employee in maintenance as an electrical technician. I have 23 years of service at age 56. Our office is going through an accelerated plant closing. I received a letter of involuntary reassignment (no date given) in May. There are no ET jobs within 50 miles of our office (limit on excessing under American Postal Workers Union contract). Under the contract, I can be forced into a lower-level job, (window clerk, city carrier, custodian) up to 50 miles away with saved grade and retreat rights. Can I qualify for a discontinued service retirement? If not, what do I need to qualify? I would like to retire without penalty. Otherwise, I need to work until I am age 60. Are there any other options I don’t know about?
Q. I am a FERS employee. I am 57 with 26 years of service.
1. Do I get annuity computation for sick leave? If so, how is it computed?
2. I was born in 1956. What is my minimum retirement age, and how much service should I have under the MRA?
3. What happens with my annual and sick leave when I retire?
4. When should I start preparing my paperwork for my retirement?
5. My agency is going through a reorganization. We have the options for early retirement, buyout, being reassigned to New York or Boston (I live in D.C.), or leave the agency. Would the above actions make me eligible for the discontinued service retirement? Would I be penalized for every year I’m under 62?