Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Withdrawn post office retirement funds

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Q. I started in the post office in 1976. I left the post office for a university job in 1984. I returned to the post office three months later because of low expectations of the employees at the university by the university. I withdrew my retirement because I believed I would not be back.

If the amount is not paid back, what percent of my post office retirement will be affected? OPM can tell me what I owe, but no one has an answer for this question until I retire!

A. Because you took a refund of your retirement contributions before March 1, 1991, you have a choice to make. You can either repay that money, plus accrued interest, or not repay it and have your annuity actuarially reduced based on how much you owe and how old you are when you retire. That actuarial reduction is based on what are called present value factors. To see what they are for FERS and CSRS, go to www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/2011/11-111.pdf and click on the highlighted addresses at the end of the first paragraph.

The present value for your age at retirement would be divided into the amount you owe when you retire. The result would be the monthly reduction in your annuity.

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