By Reg Jones
Q. I am a Postal Service employee with an issue. I was on active duty from January 1985 until April 1994, when I separated from the military and entered the Reserve.
I started work at the Postal Service in 1995, and bought back my military time.
In January 2003, I was mobilized on active duty until 2013. During this period (approximately July 2011), I fell into sanctuary (18-year lock in) and was retained on active duty to complete 20 years of active federal service, Feb. 28, 2013.
I am now back at the Postal Service trying to make up contributions for my last 10 years away from the Post Office and am being told by the Human Resource Service Center that I cannot receive an active-duty military retirement check and use that time toward the USPS retirement.
My retirement orders put me in the Retired Reserves, but I do get an active-duty check, and my last DD-214 states under “narrative reason for separation”: Sufficient service for retirement.
Q. I am a former CSRS employee with 15½ years of service. I left the service in 1993. I need to apply for deferred retirement. Is there any benefit in waiting? I am applying for a federal position that does not close for several months and am wondering what happens once I start collecting my deferred retirement? Should I wait to apply for my deferred retirement? What happens if I take a federal job in a year?
I also took a refund of part of my CSRS deductions in 1983 (money was from 1977 to 1983) when I moved to another state. Shortly after I moved, I got a new CSRS position and worked for 10 more years until 1993 and did not take a refund when I left at that time. How does that affect my retirement?
Q. I retired in 2008 with 33 years credited, of which three were in the military. I never bought back my military time. I am almost 59 now and have 35 quarters of Social Security banked. I understand that if I get over 40 before I turn 62, my pension will be affected. Most of my Social Security quarters earned were either military (in the 1970s; wasn’t much) and part-time work.
So I do not have much money vested in Social Security.
If I get 40 quarters and my pension is offset, how can I figure how much that will be? I may decide it’s to my benefit to continue part-time work.
Q. I am covered as a retiree from the Postal Service under a Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. I am also covered on a plan under my name from my late husband’s employer, from which he retired. The rules for coordination of benefits state that if you are covered under two plans in your name, the plan that you had longer would be primary. Since I retired in July, my FEHB plan changed in that it is no longer paid with pretax dollars; it is paid monthly and the premium is not the postal rate but the rate other federal workers and retirees pay. To me, this is not the same plan I had, and I am thinking the other plan would now be primary since I have had that plan for over two years. Also, over the years, I sometimes only had insurance through my husband, sometimes had both and sometimes just had FEHB. Can I safely say that because of the changes in July that the other insurance is now primary?
Q. I had cashed out the five years of FERS service from May 1987 through August 1992. I was reinstated in November 2005 and been with the federal government since.
I just received a letter from the Office of Personnel Management that I would have to pay $1,973 for FERS redeposit and $3,541 for the interest — a total of $5514. The date shown is Nov. 14, 2013.
I wonder if redeposit is a good approach at this time? Please explain the benefit of having this redeposit made vs. not doing anything.
And, for future reference, where can I tap on for more info on FERS retirement?
I plan on retiring in 2026.
Is there any other smarter way of analyzing the situation?
If I pay the total amount, what is the due date without further due on interest?
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. I am 50 years old and have worked for the Department of the Navy for 25 years under FERS. The last five years of my career has been part time (20 hours per week). My wife has also worked for the Navy for 12 years (full time under FERS) and provides our Federal Employee Health Benefits family plan coverage. I have been covered by an FEHB plan consecutively for over 25 years. If I were offered early retirement, could I pick up the FEHB family plan coverage and carry it into retirement with me? If not, why not?
Q. What is the reason for veterans to buy back military time when still working for the government? In my case, I went from 6½ years active Navy (1984-1991) to the Postal Service (1993-present). Shouldn’t going from one federal agency to another federal agency be a continuation of service, and shouldn’t vets get a waiver since we were willing to sacrifice our lives for our country?
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. My husband is retired Postal Service, with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare Part A.
I will be 65 in March but only have 37 credits and do not qualify for Social Security or Medicare, according to my SS statement.
I would like to know if I qualify for Part A under my husband’s Medicare benefits and, if so, what will happen to that benefit if he dies before I do? Due to medical issues, I do not plan to work in to get those last three credits.
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 worked at the Postal Service from 1986 to 2000. Now, I am 60 years old and would like to file retirement at 62 years. What form should I file?
Q. I was required to retire from a federal law enforcement position in 2011 after 22 years (GS-13, step 10) due to reaching the maximum age. I may have an opportunity to work with another agency in a permanent position at the GS-12 level. What are the ramifications on my retirement and health benefits? Also, what if this were a re-employed annuitant position?
Q. If I separate from service after four years and withdraw my FERS contributions, then I am rehired some years down the road, can I put my four years of withdrawn contributions back in to increase my years of service for FERS? If I leave the FERS contributions in and am rehired, will the four years count in that case?
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?
November 25th, 2013 | annuity reduction Creditable service: FERS Earnings test EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation law enforcement Minimum retirement age PAY RETIREMENT service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement
Q. I am a law enforcement officer, born 1967. My 6(c) service computation date is Nov. 1, 1989, and I plan to continue to work as a 6(c) until Dec. 31, 2014 (but not retire, simply change jobs/agency). I would like to continue working as a FERS regular employee until Dec. 31, 2020, when my youngest is out of college. If I change from 6(c) to regular FERS either now or at the end of 2014, do I mess up my ability to retire with the 6(c) computation of my 20 “good years,” or lose the ability to retire before minimum retirement age on an unreduced annuity, or give up the ability to avoid wage earnings testing against my special retirement supplement prior to my MRA?
Q. I took an early retirement from the Social Security Administration in 2005 as a CSRS employee. In 2009, I returned to work as a full-time CSRS employee and make CSRS retirement contributions. I will be eligible for a redetermined annuity early in 2014, when I will be 56. From 1975 to 1981, I had civilian service, during which I made no CSRS contributions. I paid a deposit for this service when I retired in 2005. Office of Personnel Management regulations indicate that I will need to make another election regarding this when I retire again next year. Will I have to pay this civilian service deposit again when I retire and elect a redetermined annuity? If so (and the difference between a supplemental annuity and a redetermined annuity isn’t too great), I may retire sooner.
Q. I am a law enforcement officer who retired after 27 years at age 51. I am receiving the special retirement supplement, which I should receive fully until age 56 despite any additional income. I started a private-sector position immediately upon my retirement. They are taking full Social Security deductions from my pay. It seems to me that I have “topped out” on Social Security based on my service. Should I still have Social Security deducted? If so, will I receive any benefit from this when file my taxes next year?
Q. I am interested in returning to federal service employment. I retired Jan. 31, 2007. What steps do I need to take to try to make this happen?