By Reg Jones
Q. If I resign from the federal government, what happens to my sick leave?
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’m 55, with 29 years of federal service, of which only 16 is creditable to retirement under FERS because I have never repaid my active-duty time. I am being separated due to medical reasons. I have retired on the reserve side, and so can’t remain on the civil service side. I have applied for priority placement within the local commuting area but have not received an appointment. Am I eligible for, and at what point will I receive severance pay? According to personnel, I can’t receive retirement until 62, unless I repay the active-duty time.
Note: My letter stated that I was being removed through no fault of my own, that I was eligible for immediate unreduced retirement annuity based on my federal service. Under normal circumstances, I would receive a full year of continued employment as a civilian in what was my current slot. But I was denied that year of employment based on the full 29 years which supposedly made me eligible for retirement, but I was told I could not apply for retirement based on the actual creditable time. I want to know if this was correct.
Q. I am a FERS employee with a service computation date of March 30, 1986, and a retirement SCD of Feb. 4, 1982 (I had 4+ years of active duty, for which I made a military deposit.)
My birthday is Feb. 15, 1959, so I will be 55 in February 2014 and 56 in February 2015.
If I were to receive and accept a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offer in 2014, would I still receive the special retirement supplement until I turn 62? If so, would it start immediately when I retired, or would I need to wait until I turned 56?
December 4th, 2013 | Creditable service: FERS discontinued service retirement DOWNSIZING FERS annuity computation Minimum retirement age Reductions in force RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement VERA
Q. I am a FERS employee. If my command is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and I retire at the any age and 25 years of service (I am 47 years old and have more than 25 years of service):
1. Will I get my special retirement supplement along with my retirement pay? Or will I not be entitled to the supplement?
2. If my command has a reduction in force instead, will I be able to get my severance pay plus voluntary retirement with my retirement plus the supplement until my MRA?
Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee with 30 years of service at age 55. If a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered and I’m accepted, can I use that money to buy back time — first year of federal service and two years of term employment in middle of my career (FICA-covered only) — to use toward my pension? I understand the years only paid to FICA apply to my total number of years but not toward my pension benefit.
Q. I plan to retire May 31, 2014.
1. How soon can I submit my retirement package?
2. If a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered before my retirement date, can I amend the date to get the VSIP?
Q. I was removed from the Postal Service for nonperformance four months ago after a reassignment due to a reduction in force and 24 years of service. I had also applied for disability retirement after being assigned to that job and was just waiting for approval. A package for severance pay was offered to those of us affected by the RIF if termination was necessary. My disability application was recently approved, and I’m so relieved. What about that four months of agony, though? I was really depressed and wondering if that was how my career would end. I really wanted that reassignment to work out or I never would have settled for that job, and I would have taken the severance deal. Will that severance pay be calculated into my annuity by the Office of Personnel Management? It’s not my fault that health conditions would not allow me to do the reassignment.
Q. If you have 30 years of service at GS-6, can you be awarded Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay?
Q. 1. If I return to the federal government, will my federal pension be reduced?
2. If I return, can this added time be recalculated to add to my existing pension? And if it is added, how long (in years) would I have to work for it to be added to my pension?
3. I retired in 2005 and received a buyout. Will I have to pay back the buyout?
Q. I am nearing 20 years of service and am over 56 years old. As of March 6, 2014, I will have 20 years of federal service and, as of March 31, a total of 20 years, five months and 16 days counting all of my creditable sick leave.
To apply for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, do I first have to be retirement eligible? Am I able to adjust my retirement date and still keep 20 years service by applying unused sick days, or are they only attached to the end of my total federal service time?
Q. I am a permanent career employee who resigned from my position due to my husband’s job relocation. Because of that, I experienced a five-year break in service and returned to federal service to my permanent position. Prior to my resignation, I was under FERS with 17 years of service. I did not receive a refund for my contributions after I resigned. I am currently under FERS. I would like to know if there is any way I can make a retirement deposit for my five-year break in service?
Q. I took the Postal Service Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offered in 2011, and retired at age 53. I began receiving annuity payments immediately upon retirement. I reached my minimum retirement age of 56 this month. I understand I will begin receiving the special retirement supplement beginning next month. My annuity is set up for direct deposit into my checking account. Do the supplement payments also come from the Office of Personnel Management, or do I need to do something to set those payments up to be direct deposit?
Q. I am 47 years old with 27 years of service with the Postal Service. I have been offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority so that an organizational restructuring can occur. Would this be considered the same as a reduction in force? Would I be eligible for the special retirement supplement because I am a FERS employee? If so, what age would I be eligible to receive the SRS? Immediately upon retirement, or down the road? Also, how would this affect my Social Security benefits?
Q. I’m a Defense Department employee with 19 years of federal service, and I’m 37 years old (I had 12 years of active-duty military time, which I bought back toward my government time. If the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered again this year, I’m considering accepting the buyout. If I accept the buyout, can I still apply for a deferred annuity once I reach age 62? Is there much benefit to waiting until I have 20 years of federal service, as opposed to separating with 19 years? I still won’t be at my minimum retirement age (57), even if I wait until I have 20 years. I will still only be 38, and will still have to apply for a deferred annuity, so what’s the difference?
Q. I am a GS-11 with the Department of the Air Force. My service computation date is July 2007. I was just notified that I may lose my position to another GS-11 whose position falls under a reduction in force. The issue I have is this employ was offered a GS-09 position which is sitting vacant in my section, which he declined to take. So I am now losing my position and am being told I will be moved into the GS-09 position while the RIF’ed employee takes my position. This makes me think I don’t have to take the bump to the GS-09 and can take someone else’s position and knock them down to the GS-09 position. I am an 0080 but was an 0083 prior to this. There is an 0083 GS-11 position with a service computation date of 2009 which I would like to take instead. Am I eligible to bump that position and take it? Is that an option?
Q. I had just over five years of federal service before resigning and moving out of state. So, I had a break in service. I am now back in the federal service and want to know if the prior years will count toward my retirement. And if I leave the federal system again, will I still get an annuity check at age 62 because I was vested? I did withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan, but I did not get a refund of my FERS retirement deductions. Can I get a refund of my FERS retirement deductions because I had a break in service?
Q. My agency sent out a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay form to inquire about interest. Some got it, while others did not. It seemed only personnel going anyway got the buyout. I was told the reason I did not get it was I did not qualify. At the time, I was 54 and had 21 years of service. Does this VERA/VSIP constitute a reduction in force or restructuring? If so, why would I not qualify?
Q. I am 63 with 30 years of federal service. I want to apply for a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. Can I retire from the federal service at the same time?
Q. I resigned from the Postal Service after 10-plus years on July 31, 2012, at age 54 and received half of the $20,000 separation bonus in December 2012 and am expecting the other half this December. Do I qualify at age 62 for FERS? My husband also works for the Postal Service but is not planning to retire until age 62.
If he should die before me (and vice versa), will I, as his wife, receive his FERS annuity and mine? How is this determined? Or will the surviving spouse only receive a portion of the deceased spouse’s monthly annuity?