By Reg Jones
Q. I am 61 and will be 62 in September. I would like to retire at age 62. I have eight years of federal civilian service and bought back three years and eight months of military service. I know I cannot retire until I am 62. Due to a current civil legal action that I have, I would like to resign my position within the next 30 to 60 days. This would mean a deferred annuity with a retirement date of Sept. 30. My boss is looking to suspend me from duty without pay due to this situation pending the final results of my civil action. What will I be losing by resigning and not waiting until my retirement date, even if I am suspended from duty without pay? Should I just stay on suspension and submit for retirement for the end of September?
Q. I am 57, have worked for the Postal Service for 26 years, qualified for minimum retirement age last July. What circumstances for retirement would entitle me to the special retirement supplement to be paid until I am age 62? In September 2014, my office hours will be reduced to six per day and my wages will be cut. Will I be offered a reduction in force so I can retire with a supplement at that time? Or will I just have to take a cut in pay and a cut in hours and not be considered a postmaster anymore?
Q. I am nearly 48 with 23 years of service. If I were to accept a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, if one were offered when I turned 50, other than not receiving the special retirement supplement until I reach my minimum retirement age, what benefit is there if I wait until I am 56 with 30 years of service as opposed to 50 and 25?
Q. I am 47 years old with 25 years and one month of service under FERS. If I accept Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, my understanding is that my monthly annuity will not be eligible for cost-of-living adjustments. Is that correct?
Also, once I reach 56 years and four months of age, the special retirement supplement would then be added until I’m age 62. Is that correct?
After age 56 years and four months, would COLAs then be applied to the annuity?
Finally, if I’m working in the private sector earning a salary above the current $14,000 Social Security limit for earnings, would the supplement be reduced $1 for every $2 I earn over the limit?
Q. I am a 51-year-old federal employee covered by FERS. I have 31+ years of service, and my agency is offering the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay/Voluntary Early Retirement Authority option. However, my direct management has flat-out denied my request for early retirement under the premise that it will take them more than six months to backfill my position under the current government conditions. Moreover, I am one of about 50 budget analysts, any of which should be able to do what I am doing. Do I have any recourse? Am I just plain out of luck and have no option but to suck it up? Or is there a way I can force management to approve my request as in other parts of my agency?
Q. I have 14 years of federal service and resigned in July 2011 to enter the private sector. When I resigned, I was 52 and under FERS. When can I apply for my deferred annuity, and do I have the option of taking it earlier than age 62? I also understand that if I elected to take it earlier than 62, I would be penalized 5 percent per year based on what age I elect to take it (starting at 56).
Q. I am a 59-year-old FERS employee with 29 years of Defense Department service. I will have 30 years service in August and will still be 59 at that time. I plan to continue working until I am 62 with 33 years service so I will qualify for the 1.1 percent FERS retirement annuity multiplier rather than the 1.0 percent multiplier used for retirees under the age of 62. Is there any way I can qualify for or negotiate to receive the 1.1 percent multiplier if I accept a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay offer this summer and retire at age 59 with 30 years service?
A. No, you can’t. It’s a matter of law and cannot be negotiated.
Q. I am a FERS employee with four years of service (permanent) and have met my minimum retirement age. I work for the Army. I will not be eligible for full retirement for another year when I have five years of service. Am I eligible for a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay?
Q. I retired with the VERA/VSIP on April 30, 2012. I chose the option to receive my $25,000 bonus in two installments, half six months from the date I retired and the other half six months later. I received the first installment and was told I would receive the second installment April 30, 2013. I have not received it. What do I need to do?
Q. I was given a directed reassignment from Washington, D.C., to St. Louis, to be effective this July. At that time, I will have the age and 29 years and eight months of service (CSRS), four months shy of 30 years of service in a quasi-government agency. If I refuse the directed reassignment (paid for by the government) what penalties would be applied to my retirement, if any?
There is a catch: If I accept the directed reassignment, I will not be allowed to retire for two years from the effective date of the reassignment. If I accept and retire before the two-year period, I will have to repay all expenses associated with the direct reassignment. If I do not accept the reassignment I will have to choose from the following options:
Voluntary optional retirement
Lump-sum payment of retirement contributions
Availability of other nonbargaining vacancies
Volunteering for a craft position, or
Resignation in lieu of involuntary separation.
Q. I am a career conditional GS employee who can buy back more than 10 years of military time for FERS. I just learned you have to have five years to be vested in FERS and that this five years has to civil service. If I buy back my time and I am RIF’d prior to completing the five years, what happens to the money I paid in since I will not be eligible for FERS?
Q. I am a Defense Department civilian and have met my minimum retirement age. I will not be eligible for full retirement under FERS until September 2015.
By then, I will be 60 and will have 30 years of service.
If I accepted a VERA/VSIP (I am on the offer list), would I get hit with an annuity reduction if the offer is not the result of a reduction in force? If I could take the offer without a reduction, would I also receive the special retirement supplement?
Q. My service computation date is April 1983. I am 51 and a veteran. I did seven years on active duty. Am I eligible for the $25,000 early retirement? I am under FERS.
Q. I resigned from the Postal Service in August 2005. My start date was Jan. 15, 1975. My pension was placed in a deferred annuity. I understand this annuity is maintained in Pennsylvania.
Could I obtain the address of this place, and will I be able to draw my pension at 60 or 62?
Q. I accepted a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay of $25,000. My first day of retirement was March 1. The early retirement was a very rushed process. I now regret retiring and would like to go back to my original position. Is there any way this can be done?
Q. In 2015, I will reach my minimum retirement age (56) with 26+ years of creditable FERS service.
If a VERA is offered any time that I’m 56 to 60 (when I will have reached full age and time requirements) would I get the special retirement supplement until age 62?
If yes, then from 56-62, I would get: FERS immediate annuity (no penalty under a VERA) Thrift Savings Plan annuity (no penalty under a VERA) special retirement supplement (under a VERA). Also during these years there is really no cost-of-living adjustment for any of the above, correct?
Also, under a VERA at age 55, for example, I could get my two immediate annuities, but the special retirement supplement would not start until age 56, correct?
Q. I resigned from the Postal Service in August 2005. My start date was Jan. 15, 1975. My pension was placed into a deferred annuity. I understand this annuity is maintained somewhere in Pennsylvania. Can you tell me the address of this place? Will I be able to draw my pension at the age of 60 or 62?
Q. My wife just resigned from the U.S. Forest Service. She is 44 with more than 20 years of service. Did she lose all of her retirement, or is she still eligible to receive a portion at the reduced rate of 5 percent?
She was always in a position covered under firefighter retirement, eligible at 50 to retire. Also, is she still eligible for health benefits?
Q. If I have 20 years of federal service (including more than 15 in the foreign service) but I haven’t turned 50, can I retire but defer receipt of my benefits/pension until I am eligible at age 50? For example, an employee is 47 years old and has completed 20 years of federal service. Can that employee leave the service and still receive full retirement benefits beginning at age 50?
Q. I’m 46, with 12½ years in civil service. Per ABC, I can do deferred retirement; however, VERA/VSIP has been offered. Will this null and void my deferred retirement since it is a voluntary resignation?