By Reg Jones
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 have worked for the Postal Service for 26 years. I just turned 50. I am under FERS. If I decided to retire at the end of the year, how would I calculate what my annuity will be? Additionally, if there were another early-out offer from the Postal Service, how would I benefit from that rather than retiring outside of the offer?
December 5th, 2013 | annuity reduction Coverage after retirement discontinued service retirement EMPLOYMENT FEHBP HEALTH INSURANCE MRA + 10 PAY Postal Service Postponed retirement Re-enrollment RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement
Q. I have been told by the Office of Personnel Management that if I postpone my retirement until age 60, I would be penalized for every year I am under 62 and will not be eligible for the special retirement supplement.
I am 59½ with more than 28 years in the Postal Service. Our facility is consolidating, and our jobs are at stake. I am a clerk and do not want a carrier position because of my health. I plan on retiring in February to reach my 60th birthday. If I don’t accept a carrier position, can I:
1. Take an involuntary discontinued retirement; or
2. Retire and postpone my annuity until 60
I want to receive the special retirement supplement and no penalty on annuity.
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 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 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. 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. 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 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 retired from the Postal Service in 2006. I will turn 65 in April. If I understand this correctly, my employer health insurance becomes my secondary insurance and Medicare becomes my primary. Why would my premiums stay the same for an insurance that’s providing me less coverage? Also, what parts (A, B, C, D) are advisable to sign up for with Medicare?
Q. I have been drawing workers’ compensation for seven years. Several years back, my wife sold some pups and I failed to turn it in as income. I entered a plea to three felonies. I was told by my court-appointed attorney that my supervisor position for the Postal Service should be made available for my return to work where the previous injury occurred. Is this the case? How should I approach my former employer about my job?
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?
Q. I retired from the Postal Service at age 70. I did not sign up for Medicare Part B at 65. I carried my Federal Employees Health Benefits plan into retirement. I understood that as long as I kept my insurance, I would not be penalized if I decided to sign up at a later time. That was two years ago. I am considering an Advantage plan and have been told by Social Security that I will be penalized for each 12-month period since I turned 65, even though I continued to work until 70. I retired Oct. 1, 2011.
Q. I have 26 years of federal employment with age. 26 x 1.1 = 28.6. How is this treated for retirement? Will the Postal Service drop 0.6? Or how do I calculate the remainder? What must I do to reach a whole number?
November 20th, 2013 | annuity reduction Coverage after retirement Creditable service: CSRS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT HEALTH INSURANCE Military service deposits PAY Postal Service RETIREMENT self and family SOCIAL SECURITY spouse benefits
Q. I have 31 years with the Postal Service, four years military. Started with USPS in March 1982. Also a disabled vet.
I am confused with the payback issue regarding my military service from 1974 to 1978. I opted not to pay back and, according to everything I am reading, if I do not qualify for Social Security at 62, there will not be a deduction in annual annuity.
However, I note that in the CSRS and FERS Handbook, it states the following:
“If nondeduction service was performed before Oct. 1, 1982, and deposit is not made, the basic annual annuity is reduced by 10 percent of deposit plus interest owed.”
I do not have enough credits to qualify for Social Security, thus I’m not sure if this applies to me.
Also, I would like to use the Veterans Affairs Department when I retire. However, I am not sure how to provide health insurance to my spouse. Should I keep my present insurance that covers her, or are there other options?
November 19th, 2013 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation Government pension offset PAY Postal Service RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY spouse benefits SURVIVOR BENEFITS
Q. I am a retired Postal Service FERS employee. I took the early-out in February with reduced pension. I am going to marry a Postal Service CSRS employee retired on postal disability. He has little Social Security time, which he is not collecting. We would like to know if one of us will lose our postal pension. If so, how much and why?
Q. I am a Postal Service employee and under FERS. I am at my minimum retirement age of 56, have 33 years of service (25 with the Postal Service, November 1988-present, and eight years of military service that I bought back: Marine Corps, 1975-1979; Coast Guard, 1984-1988). I was going to retire voluntarily at the end of this month, but I have contacted the Office of Personnel Management and also contacted human resources shared services. One person tells me I’m eligible for the special retirement supplement, and another tells me no. I understand that the military buyback does not count in the calculation of the supplement, but I was under the understanding that the military time combined with the postal time would count toward the eligibility for the supplement.
Q. After working for the Postal Service for 20 years, I left service in 2004. I started as an RCR in 1984, and later became an RCA. In 1995, I became a rural carrier full time and was in FERS for nine years. I heard that I can buy more years for my retirement calculations. I turn 62 in December. How do I find out what buying some years will cost, and what forms will I need to have everything ready for December? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. Do you know if I will have to pay Arizona income taxes on my FERS retirement benefit (Postal Service)? I am not disabled. I know I am exempt from federal income tax here in Arizona.