By Reg Jones
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?
Q. I have worked with the understanding that I would enjoy a CSRS retirement. When I turned in a request for retirement computation, I found out that I was a CSRS Offset employee, and they began removing Social Security payments from my paycheck. I am over 55 and have worked over 30 years with the same federal company. I had a break in service to have a baby (that was back when the Family Medical Leave Act did not exist, and I had to quit and return to work as a temp for a year and then be made permanent again.
I did not know if I am expected to pay 30 years of back Social Security. Some say that CSRS should move my contributions to SS, and some say they will not. I have 17 quarters of SS. I plan on working another five years. When I plan on retiring, I will have paid in 39.25 quarters and be 60 years old. There will be six years of payments to SS upon retirement.
I have a great fear of retiring at 60 and then, on the magic becoming of 62 years old, and huge wrench will be thrown in the works and I will have a reduced annuity from the CSRS and no annuity from Social Security. What type of proactive actions should I be taking now to resolve my anxiety?
Q. I’m a permanent Department of the Army civilian employee under FERS. I was hired July 27, 2009, as a temporary term employee and converted to permanent status Feb. 14, 2010. I’ve had full benefits from the start of my employment, except for medical, which I started in January 2010. All of my benefits have continued without interruption (I think I had either two or three days leave without pay while on term).
I have two years and seven months of military service from the 1960s. I’ve been looking into buying back my service time, but since I don’t have the buyback numbers yet, I haven’t made a decision one way or the other.
I’m 66 years old. What would be the earliest date I could retire maintaining my pension benefits and medical insurance (vesting)?
Q. I left the government after being enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan for two years. I returned to the government 20 years later and elected to re-enroll. There was a two-week (one pay period) lapse in the coverage due to paperwork processing. I worked for another four years, and then my term appointment expired. Does the two-week lapse in coverage affect the five-year rule?
Q. I am a Department of Army term employee overseas and was recently informed by human resources that the Army will not renew (extend) my term appointment once I complete 24 months in January 2014. I have 25 years (18 military, seven FERS) of combined service for retirement purposes from civil service. If I can’t continue federal employment by the time I complete my current 24-month term assignment, what status should I choose if I intend to return to federal employment in the near future? In other words, if I must have a break in service, I want to ensure I have my ducks in a row once I return to civil service. Once I return to civil service, I don’t want to be told, “Well since you didn’t elect to blah blah blah, I am afraid you don’t qualify for blah blah blah. Didn’t anyone advise you to blah blah blah when you left federal service?” I have three children under age 5 and a spouse.
Q. I worked for the federal government for approximately three years temporarily from 1980 to 1982. Can this temporary time be bought back and used toward retirement?
Q. I served eight years and five months in the Army. I left on a service-connected disability with $22,000 in severance pay, which, over the years, has been paid back. I have been working as a temporary GS-13, Step 1, for seven months and I just received an offer for a permanent GS-12, Step 7. I wanted to get an idea as to what the cost might be for me to buy back my military service. They gave full credit for service when I started as a GS-13 (service computation date Sept. 22, 2004).
Q. Is a term employee eligible for military buyback and can pay for creditable service?
Q. I was initially hired on a two-year term employment as a GS-12. When that term was up, I was hired into another position as a GS-13, again as a two-year term. My understanding is that terms can only be extended up to four years total. Do these four years include the two years I served as a GS-12, or does the term start over when I was hired into the new GS-13 term position? In other words, could I serve for four years in the GS-13 term position, even though I have already served two years as a GS-12 term?
Q. I’m a CSRS annuitant who retired from the Veterans Affairs Department in 2009. I have a chance to be rehired at the same position but as a temporary not to exceed two years. Will this affect my annuity?
Q. I am a FERS employee and have worked under a term appointment for more than 20 years. Would it be possible for me to qualify for voluntary early retirement once I have 25 years of service if my agency were to offer it? Does my term status make me ineligible?
Q. I will have my three years in as a federal employee at the end of November. Because I am still considered temporary, am I the first to go during a reduction in force, or does the performance rating still count?
Q. I am 57 with 19 years of service under FERS. I also have two years of temp time with the government. Will the temp time count in the calculation of my special retirement supplement that starts at age 60 if I do Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay next year at age 58 with 20 years?
Q. I am a temp employee and recently applied for an internal position. After being interviewed and referral phone calls made, I have now been told that I am ineligible to apply because it is an internal position. I need to apply for external positions only. I thought that even a temp federal employee should be considered internal. What is the truth?
Q. If I am hired into a temporary position not to exceed one year, am I eligible to apply for a full-time position after 90 days?
Q. I am a full-time employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to becoming full time, I was a term employee for two years. After my term position was terminated, I was paid my final pay along with unused leave. I was hired approximately four months later in a full-time position but in a different area. Does my time as a term employee count toward my retirement, or is this time lost?
Q. I am a government employee not to exceed five years. I am eligible for benefits and furloughs. Am I also eligible for a step increase or within-grade increase?
Q. I have approximately 24 years of FERS service (USDA, Forest Service) and have approximately six years (10 seasons) of temp/seasonal time, all of which occurred before 1989. I have paid a deposit for all of my time as a federal temp/seasonal employee. Will the special retirement supplement be calculated only on my 24 years of FERS service? Or, because I made the deposit for all of my seasonal time, will it be based on all 30 years of my federal service? I am hoping to retire at the end of the year. I will have over 30 years and will meet my minimum retirement age.
Q. I am a Postal Service letter carrier in Lake Worth, Fla. I started in 1990, but was not made a career employee until Aug. 6, 1994. From Sept. 25, 1990, until Aug. 6, 1994, I worked both as an NTE (casual) and a temporary employee. Can I buy back these four years so that I would have 23 years of service with the USPS, and therefore needing seven years before I can retire with a full retirement. As of now, I have 19 years in.
Q. What are the rules for temporary promotion once the employee has finished the time in that position? Are they guaranteed their old job?