By Reg Jones
Q. I recently went back to work as a federal employee with the Veterans Affairs Department. When I retired through Department of the Army, I was a GS-9 Step 4 with more than 27 years of total federal service. In addition, during my tenure, I worked with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service as a GS-8 that was within the same job series 0990.
Thus far, VA has not given me credit for my total service time, whereupon they set my service computation date up as Jan. 27, 2013. I was hired into a GS-7 position on that date, and they brought me in as a Step 1, although I had thought I would be at least a Step 2 or 3 because of the GS-8 position I had held with DFAS for nearly two years.
I contacted the Office of Personnel Management and complained but was told that these issues are out of their jurisdiction and that it is up to the employing agency to decide. The primary reason I considered going back to work for the federal government was because I believed I would receive eight hours of annual leave each pay period as I did before retirement instead of the four hours I currently receive. Is VA correct in doing so? I thought that total federal service time counted even as a rehire. Why am I having to forfeit the offset amount if my prior service time is not given back to me?
Perhaps I can somewhat understand being brought back onboard as a GS-7 Step 1. However, once again because I am having to give up an offset amount of a GS-9 Step 4, I would have thought VA would be more accommodating. If I wasn’t a retiree and had been a GS-9 and had taken a downgrade to a GS-7, wouldn’t they keep the rate of pay in line? So why doesn’t that apply with returning to federal service after having been retired?
Thus far, VA has spent several thousand dollars to train me in my new position as a VSR. However, I am now debating whether this job and the stress that goes along with it is really worth the lack of benefits I had expected. Am I being treated properly by VA on these two issues?
Q. If I get an early retirement (I am 50 with 29 years), when can I go back as a rehired annuitant?
Q. I am a CSRS Offset retiree. I attended more than one pre-retirement seminar and was given examples of my retirement situation, along with reassurances that my retirement would closely follow the examples and that I was very fortunate to be CSRS Offset, and would be very happy.
I was told to check with Social Security to find out about my offset. Neither the Office of Personnel Management nor Social Security could know the exact amounts until I retired.
Following my retirement, everything, except Social Security, was in disorder for six months. OPM explained that they had to check with SS about the calculation of my offset, and that took some time. When I contacted SS, they said there was no offset for me because of my lengthy employment history and more than 30 years of SS payments (and I paid both CSRS and SS amounts since 1983).
The bottom line is, at the pre-retirement seminar, I was shown and walked through one method for calculating the offset and told that there was also another and that the one with the lowest amount would be used to determine my offset. My eventual monthly OPM payments were about $1,000 a month less than those demonstrated in the example based on all that was known about my salary and SS payment history at the pre-retirement seminar. I realize that the pre-retirement amount could be off a little, but $1,000/month is a lot. Each time I tried to sort this out, I was told by SS that there was no offset, and I was told by OPM that they used the offset given to them by SS.
To this date, this matter has never been satisfactorily explained and resolved. SS even sent me a letter stating that I was not subject to any offset, and OPM continues to state that my pension offset was based on the information supplied to them by SS. Can you supply me with someone to walk me through the calculations that were apparently so far from real?
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 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. 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 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 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?
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 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?
Q. Is there a difference between a rehired or reinstated annuitant?
Q. I worked for the Veterans Affairs Department from 1991 to 1997 under FERS and took a refund. I am returning to federal employment in January. Can I redeposit with interest to acquire the 6½ creditable years?
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?
November 21st, 2013 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS CSRS annuity computation CSRS Offset EMPLOYMENT Government pension offset PAY Re-employment RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY spouse benefits SURVIVOR BENEFITS Windfall elimination provision
Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee. I had seven years and 10 months of CSRS service when I left and took my funds out. I returned as CSRS Offset after a 15-month break, did not make a redeposit and now have an additional 26 years of service.
I am looking at retiring in 4½ years at age 60. In addition, I am divorced (married 28 years and one month, not remarried). My ex-husband has always made substantially more. Based on the scenario stated, I am of the opinion that:
1. The windfall elimination provision will not apply since I will have 30½ years of paying into Social Security.
2. The government pension offset does not apply since I am CSRS Offset, and
3. I can collect Social Security based upon my spouse’s earnings since his income was substantially more than mine.
I need to know whether these assumptions are correct, and whether there are any other “offsets” as it will make the difference on whether or not I can afford to retire or need to keep working until full (Social Security) retirement age.
Q. Can a federal retiree who received Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay work for a county public school transportation system within five years of receiving a VSIP? Working for a county government public school transportation system does not mean you need to payback the buyout, right? This only applies to re-employment in another federal government agency.
Q. I am a former federal employee who left government service after 23 years. I have held competitive and excepted service positions. I work as a federal contractor and have held this position for 15 months. I was recently offered a federal job, and the human resources department told me that they could only rehire me at the grade and step level I was at when I left (GS-13/Step 2). However, my current contracting job pays more than that, and I thought they could rehire me at a higher step rate to match what I am making, but the federal agency said they cannot offer any more money since I left at a GS-13/2. Is this accurate? I know other people who left government service and came back were hired at a much higher grade and rate than what they held previously.
Q. I have four years of federal service, and I am going to take Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay because it is being offered. I am worried that if I take VSIP and apply for different job after two years, my reinstatement eligibility will be different. In the documentation, they always lump VERA and VSIP re-employment. However, I am 26 years old and would not be receiving a pension. Do you know where documentation is that states re-employment rights when just taking VSIP? How do I know I am not considered a re-employing annuitant? Technically, a payout could be considered an annuity. Since the Office of Personnel Management says the retirement plan and Thrift Savings Plan contributions change with re-employment under VSIP it might not be worth the $4,000 to risk future retirement rights.
I read another post where you said resigning and resigning under VSIP are the same for reinstatement. However, I just want to see where that is documented so I know taking VSIP is the best choice.
Q. I am retired under the CSRS/firefighter retirement benefit. At the time I retired, I was told that after five years, I would be able to hold a temporary, 1039 position without a pay offset of my annuity. Is this true?