By Reg Jones
Q. I have an Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs claim on an injury sustained at work. My physician put me on restrictions for three months. My agency has not contacted me in over a week and I’m using sick leave while I wait on their job offer. If they are not able to offer me a job any time soon, could I submit for regular disability under FERS, and also Social Security. If I am not approved for disability, and a job offer is not given, then can I take a regular retirement with unreduced annuity and also get the special retirement supplement? My agency is going through a transfer of function to another site. I am 59 with 28 years of service.
Q. In 1998, I was injured and received benefits from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. I left the agency and went to work for a different agency under FERS. As a result, I received a “loss of wage earning capacity” every month from the 1998 injury.
In 2005, I received a disability retirement as a result of a different injury. Should my high-3 average have included the loss of wage-earning capacity I was receiving at the time of the disability application and approval?
Q. My father is on workers’ compensation. When he passes away, would my mother be able to receive survivor benefits or pull off of his retirement for any compensation? He was in air traffic controller for 17 years and left all of his money in the system. He is 82 years old.
Q. Is there any regulation prohibiting the use or approval of intermittent leave without pay of greater than 16 hours per pay period on a continuing basis for a full-time federal employee in lieu of converting to part time?
Q. With no pay raises, assuming one is eligible, at what point does the take home pay in CSRS retirement (after all of the necessary adjustments) pretty much equal the take-home pay while working? It seems to fall around 35 or 36 years, or 68 percent to 70 percent? I know you can do a retirement calculator, but that gives you an estimate of gross.
Q. I plan on retiring in 2014 under FERS at 57 with 30 years and five months of service. Additionally, I have accumulated approximately seven months of sick leave. Will my sick leave count when calculating the special retirement supplement? Can I get credit for 31 years vs. 30 with the addition of my sick leave for the SRS?
Q. Can a Postal Service employee donate annual leave to a federal employee?
Q. In 1994, I made a deposit to buy back 10 years of my military service. Should this deposit appear on my biweekly leave and earnings statement each month? Currently, it does not appear.
Q. In an answer to a question, Reg Jones replied (on May 13): “The Comptroller General has ruled that federal employees cannot take terminal leave before retiring.” What, exactly, is “terminal leave”?
Q. I am a 25-year federal employee hired under CSRS in 1979. I had a break in service in 1981 and, when I returned to the federal government in 1983, I was told because my break in service was more than 12 months, I was converted over to CSRS Offset. Without any discussion or choice. Can I challenge this conversion? How will my sick leave (900 hours) be handled under the Offset when I am eligible?
Q. I am a FERS employee who has been with the Postal Service since 1985. I had an extended period of illness in 2008, during which I used most of my sick leave. I recently decided to retire May 31 and, during my retirement counseling session, I asked about my sick leave, which is now 22 days, according to their records. I was told I would receive no compensation because the post office is paying out in increments of 30 days and “since they are paying out at 50 percent, I would have to have 60 days accrued to get the 30.” This shocked me: I was willing to forfeit 50 percent, but was wondering where the 30-day increment information can be found.
Q. I will be retiring Aug. 3 with 33 years and 11 months of CSRS employment. I have four months of sick leave plus a few days. My service computation date is Sept. 4, so I know I have to leave additional sick leave days to make a full month. I will be furloughed every Friday the last month I work (four furlough days). Will the remaining sick leave days be needed to replace furlough days in retirement calculations? Or are furlough days considered workdays (without pay) in retirement calculations?
Q. If I voluntarily separate and then am rehired at a later date, is my prior sick leave reinstated?
Q. Do you have to be at work the day you retire or can you charge annual leave or sick leave?
Q. I was injured on the job in 1998. I applied for OPM disability retirement and Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. OPM was approved first. I took that. Later, OWCP was approved and I spent nine years on OWCP. After that ended, I went back to retirement. Later, I was rehired by the government as a disabled annuitant. Am I entitled to a restoration of rights (5 USC 8151) for that time spent on OWCP (this would add nine years to my federal record)? I now work for the VA but was injured at INS. Can I apply to have the tenure of nine years restored by either VA or INS, or have I lost that nine years on OWCP? I note 5 CFR 353 seems to suggest I should get those nine years back not on retirement.
I applied for re-employment at INS when I recovered, and officials there never responded.
Q. I started working for the federal government March 10, 1975. If I retire Dec. 31, 2015, by my calculations, I will have 40 years, nine months and 21 days.
Right now I have 1,142 hours of sick leave but have no idea how many I will have when I retire. Will any of that be counted toward year and months of service? I’m only a GS 7, step 10, so I need to know what percentage of my retirement pay I would get. My high-3 is more than $50,400 with locality pay. I understood that where you are living and getting locality pay would be figured toward the annuity. If they change our retirement to the high-5, in two years I will still be at the same salary.
Q. I am 61 and will be 62 in September. I would like to retire at age 62. I have eight years of federal civilian service and bought back three years and eight months of military service. I know I cannot retire until I am 62. Due to a current civil legal action that I have, I would like to resign my position within the next 30 to 60 days. This would mean a deferred annuity with a retirement date of Sept. 30. My boss is looking to suspend me from duty without pay due to this situation pending the final results of my civil action. What will I be losing by resigning and not waiting until my retirement date, even if I am suspended from duty without pay? Should I just stay on suspension and submit for retirement for the end of September?
Q. I turned 55 in April and have more than 33 years in CSRS. I have 3,069 hours of accumulated sick leave, and 304 hours of annual leave in my current year balance, 164 restored annual leave with a term date of January 2014, and 444 hours of restored annual leave with a term date of January 2015. To get credit for my sick leave, I need to retire with total service and sick leave equaling a multiple of 174 hours? And, I’ll get a lump-sum payout from my annual leave of 912 hours at my current hourly rate?
Q. I want to retire in September and have restored annual leave which must be used before January 2014. Will I be paid for restored leave if I have not used it by my retirement date in September?
Q. I am in CSRS. I want to retire Jan. 11, 2014, as I will be on a mission trip out of the country from Christmas until Jan. 9, 2014, and I would like to get paid for my unused annual leave for 2012. I understand that I will not receive a retirement check for that month since it is past the third day of the month. I have had Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage since Jan. 12, 2009. Does that qualify as five years of health coverage? What will happen to my health coverage for the rest of January as I won’t receive a check for that month?