By Reg Jones
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?
Q. I would like to know if “donated leave” to a co-worker under the donated leave program will be added back to my time in service to calculate my retirement benefit under FERS. I was told that it would, but I have done exhaustive searches and can’t find it.
Q. I will have 25 years of federal service at 66 years of age on Jan. 19, 2014. Would it be better to retire on Jan. 31, 2014, if the sole consideration is reducing the wait for being entered on the annuity roll? My understanding that I would be placed on the roll on Feb. 1, 2014. Is this correct?
Q. I am a Department of the Army civilian employee. I was hired as a contractor from the U.S. to work in Italy for the Defense Department. I was then hired as a civilian employee here (actually in the same office) and have been here for 2½ years. I have asked, but my human resources office is saying I receive an annual leave ceiling of 240 hours instead of the normal 360 for overseas employees because I was hired locally. In addition, I do not receive home leave or renewal agreement travel. I believe the home leave and RAT are only if hired from the continental U.S., so it makes sense. Is this all correct?
Q. I am eligible to retire Nov. 1 but plan on staying until around the end of the calendar year. I will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave. I would like the taxes on that lump-sum payment to be on my 2014 taxes. What is the best date for me to retire? I am assuming it would be either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of January 2014 so that I can began receiving my annuity Feb. 1.
Q. I retired from the Army with more than 22 years of active duty. I submitted my paperwork to FBI HR to get credit for my military time on my first day of employment in October 2010. I inquired numerous times about the status of the documents but never received a satisfactory answer. Then, after more than a year of asking, I found out the HR person submitted the paperwork to an incorrect address (now November 2011). The paperwork was resubmitted by another HR person because I told them all that they submitted it incorrectly. I finally received six hours of annual leave per pay period, which began this year. How can I get credit (six hours a pay period) from the beginning of my employment with the FBI? FBI HR told me it was from the time of the documents submitted getting certified. What are your thoughts on this situation?
Q. My previous and current employers added seven years to my service computation date for my work at USDA from April 1, 1981, through March 31, 1988.
The credit is documented in SF-50-B forms from these agencies dated Oct. 15, 1994, and Feb. 19, 1995. My current employer’s Employee Self Service website also incorporates this seven-year credit in calculating my estimated monthly annuity. My current employer’s HR unit, however, will give me only one year and two months’ credit under FERS for my work at USDA because the work was part time.
Since more than five years of my service at USDA took place before FERS started, am I entitled to an annuity calculated under CSRS rather than FERS rules?
Q. I am looking to retire from an 1811 federal law enforcement job at age 50 under FERS. Can I apply for another federal job upon retirement? If so, what are the restrictions regarding retirement, Thrift Savings Plan, vacation and sick leave?
Q. I plan to retire the end of this year under FERS and will be 67½. If I retire Dec. 31, that will be in the middle of a pay period. If I wait until Jan. 11, that will be the end of a pay period and I will get all of my sick leave counted toward retirement. If I wait until Jan. 11, will I lose all annual leave over 240 hours? I won’t be on the rolls for annuity until Feb. 1 or eligible for my first check March 1, I think. I was hoping that if I put in my retirement paperwork for Jan. 11, 2014, three months in advance, I would not lose the annual leave, but I don’t know.
Q. I am a fully vested CSRS employee with the Environmental Protection Agency for 33 years at age 55. I have received my numbers, but I missed my first date to retire. How long does it take to receive my first full check? Worst-case scenario? Best-case scenario? And is there any way to speed up processing?
When will I receive my annual leave payment? Will it be immediate in one lump sum without taxes since I already paid taxes on my leave?
Should I take all of my Thrift Savings Plan out at once or leave about 10,000 in and roll it over to a Roth IRA or leave it in TSP?
Is there a financial counselor at TSP to speak with about taxes and IRAs vs. TSP?
I was told the first three days of the month or the last day of the month are the best times to go out to receive the check earlier? Is this a good idea?
Q. I am a CSRS employee, and I already qualify for an immediate retirement. I plan to retire May 3.
On the retirement application (SF 2801), under Section B, block 2 is called “Date of final separation.”
I entered May 3 because it is at the end of a pay period.
I need to know:
1. Will I receive eight hours of annual leave since my last work day is at the end of the pay period?
2. Will my first retirement check come June 1 because I retired during one of the first three days of a month (May 3)?
Q. Do I need to file a form to receive a lump-sum payment for accumulated annual leave time when I separate from civilian service?
Q. I am medically retired from the military. I have 12.5 years of active duty from September 1991 to May 2004. I’ve worked for the Veterans Affairs Department since October 2006. I am only getting six hours for leave. Why is my service time not being used?
Q. I am a law enforcement officer who has been out on workers’ compensation since June 2011. My scheduled retirement date is in July with 20 years of service at age 55. I’m being paid partial disability at this time. Since I haven’t been on the job since 2011, did annual and sick leave still accrue? What happens with workers’ comp after retirement?
Q. I’m a FERS employee preparing to retire at age 60 and 29 years of service. I have informed my human resources office and received the applications and an annuity estimate. I realize from reading your columns that the end of a pay period and month are good times to retire to receive the last annual leave increment and to begin the annuity on the first day of the following month. This year, a biweekly pay period ends on Saturday, June 1. However, that is not a work day in my agency. Can I retire on Friday, May 31 and accrue annual leave for the pay period? Would my annuity begin with an effective date of June 1?
Q. I’ve been in CSRS since Feb. 10, 1975, and I turned 65 in January.
1) Which day, in late leave year 2015, would be the best day to retire?
2) What should be my schedule for submitting retirement documents?
Q. If an employee is furloughed 14 days, will he or she lose annual leave time or sick leave time, or will it be as though they worked those days (hours) and were never furloughed. If an employee is furloughed 14 days, will he or she lose retirement time (i.e. will their retirement anniversary date change?)
Q. I will have 30 years with the Postal Service on Dec. 24. I have 450 hours of annual leave. If I were to take a voluntary downgrade — which would reduce my pay rate substantially for my last six months before retirement — would my annual leave buyout be calculated solely at my new lower rate? Or would it correspond to my pay rate when it was earned?