By Reg Jones
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. If you have 30 years of service at GS-6, can you be awarded Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay?
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 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. 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 am 52 years old and have 25 years of federal service to include my 13 years of military time, which I bought back. I am under FERS.
1. Do I qualify for the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, if offered?
2. Would I take a cut in retirement benefits?
Q. I’m a FERS employee. I will be 52 in August 2014. I have 13 years with the Veterans Affairs Department, seven years military buyback. I have an 80 percent disability rating. Can I take the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority that is offered now at age 56 with 25 years, or a disability retirement? Will I be penalized in any way?
Q. I am a Department of Army employee covered FERS and not under law enforcement, which has a mandatory retirement age. I am 57 years old, a career employee, a 10 percent disabled veteran with 38 years of service. I have also had top block ratings in all of my previous five ratings. My plan was to stay until age 62 because provisions under FERS for retiring after 62/20 years of service will maximize my benefits.
I am being told by management officials that I am going to be forced to retire because I would cause younger workers to be RIF’d from federal civil service. Most to the younger workers that I would RIF are retired Army lieutenant colonels and colonels who are already receiving more in military retirement than I would receive at 62.
Are there any provisions that allow for agency forced retirement of federal civil servants as part of an agency restructuring? I am aware of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and discontinued service retirements, but I am at the top of my retention register and would bump military retirees out of jobs since we all perform essentially the same functions.
Q. Can I go back to work at the Postal Service after I have received a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority? It would be a noncareer position.
Q. When I take Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and I have annual leave, are they combined into one lump sum for tax purposes, or are they separate?
Q. I have over 14 years of civil service. I’m retired military (20 years). I’m almost 58 years old. I fall under FERS.
A while back, an email came down asking who would be interested in Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. I replied in the affirmative.
If they offer VERA/VSIP, my supervisor says he would not approve it for me, as he cannot afford to lose the position.
My plan was to retire at 60, but if they offered VERA/VSIP, I would go earlier. With talk of reductions in force being thrown into the mix, I’m concerned what course would be most beneficial for me. If RIF is enforced or if VERA/VSIP is offered, do they waive the 5 percent-per-year penalties for early retirement?
How do I find out how much penalty I would incur if they do not waive them? Should I buy back my military time? Keep it separate? Stay until 60?
Q. I am a level 13 postmaster who will receive a reduction-in-force notice in June 2014. My position as EAS 13 Postmaster will be demoted to an EP-55 Part-time Career employee. My plans were to take the RIF in June and leave in September 2014.
I am 51 years old and have been a federal employee since 1983. I was counting on leaving under the discontinued service retirement in June. However, now that they have offered this Voluntary Early Retirement Authority even though it offers no incentive, should I take the “safe” out now or wait until the RIF next June? (I am aware that I will take a 2 percent-per-year reduction for each year I retire under the age of 55.)
Q. I retired from the Postal Service on Jan. 31. I am 60 years old and I took the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. I received an $11,000 annual leave payment, and the $10,000 buyout. I also receive a widow’s benefit from Social Security of $9,000. Will this money be counted as earned income on my income taxes against the $15,120 limit? I also receive the special retirement supplement.
Q. I’m a federal employee under FERS. I have 26 years of service, and I’m looking into a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offering. I had federal health coverage for 24 years (1987-2011) and then used my husband (outside the federal program 2012) and just started a year after (2013). Will they take that into consideration for me to take the federal health plan into retirement, or will I still will need four more years. Is there any way to waive the five continuous years needed as I had it for 24 years before?
Q. My office is offering Voluntary Early Retirement Authority to qualified employees. I have been employed by the federal government for 26 years and have been covered under health insurance since my initial appointment. I carry the self-and-family plan.
I am considering taking the VERA in January. At the same time, I am considering an employment opportunity outside the federal government should I retire. That company provides health insurance for their employees and family members. I will not work for them long enough to carry their health benefits once I decide I am done working for good.
Is there a way to suspend my health insurance benefits, then re-enroll once I am no longer covered by the other company? Or, is it best to keep the plan I have now?
Q. I have applied for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. If I get it, according to the VERA/VSIP rules, I must retire on or before March 31. Could you please give me the best dates to retire, assuming it will take them a couple of months to process the papers?
Q. I will be 56 in January 2014 with over 20 years of federal service (included military time bought back). Am I eligible for early retirement? Approximately how much will I be getting monthly?