By Reg Jones
Q. I retired under CSRS at age 57, 1½ years ago, with 32 years service. Before I worked for the federal government, I had other jobs that I paid Social Security payments. I am now told that since I retired under CSRS, I can’t collect my Social Security when I reach the correct age. Why can’t I collect that money since it was paid in before I worked for the feds? Also, If I can’t collect Social Security, where does all that money go that I paid in. Shouldn’t I get that back?
Also, if I get a part-time job away from the government, would I have to pay Social Security taxes? If so, why?
December 11th, 2013 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation DOWNSIZING FERS annuity computation PAY RETIREMENT Retirement date service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement spouse benefits SURVIVOR BENEFITS VERA VSIP Windfall elimination provision
Q. I am considering requesting a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and being off the rolls by March 31. My service computation date is Feb. 28, 1982 (CSRS and FERS). On Feb. 28, 2014, I will have 32 years of combined service (CSRS and FERS). On April 11, 2014, I will be 58 years old.
I transferred to FERS on March 30, 1994. Therefore, I will have 20 years under FERS on March 30, 2014.
I previously withdrew all of my retirement funds from CSRS, and never paid them back. I understand that although I did not repay my refund, the period of service will count toward length of service, but no annuity. Is this correct?
I had received a FERS benefit report that reflects CSRS service credit as 11 years, seven months and six days, but because some of that time was nonpaid deposit or redeposit, I will only receive eight years, 11 months and 27 days of CSRS service credit. My unpaid CSRS deposit is $627, and my CSRS redeposit is $30,607. Therefore, I am unable to pay all of this back prior to my retirement — and will have to pay a penalty, I am sure.
Since all of my annuity will be coming from FERS, will I be affected by the windfall elimination provision?
I have no survivor benefit, spouse deceased, which should make me eligible for Social Security widow’s benefit at age 60. How will this affect my special retirement supplement? Will I have to contact the Office of Personnel Management and report this change, or will they be notified by Social Security that I have filed?
Is the special retirement supplement equal to the Social Security benefits I will draw at age 62, or is it less?
December 11th, 2013 | annuity reduction Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation Deferred retirement FERS annuity computation High-3 Minimum retirement age PAY Resignation RETIREMENT
Q. I am in the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation. I will have 30 years of federal service on Feb. 2, 2016, and will be 60 on Jan. 24, 2016. My minimum retirement age is 56. The Office of Personnel Management’s Web page says if you retire before 30 years service or MRA, your pension is reduced 5 percent for each year unless you have more than 20 years service and your benefit starts at age 60 or later. Does this mean that if I retire at age 59 but defer pension until I am 60, my pension would be .01 times 29 times average of high-3? So, if I defer my pension, I lose one year of my pension. But if do not defer my pension, I lose 5 percent of it each year I am retired (in both instances, I would lose the difference between .01 times 29 times average high-3 and .01 times 30 times average high-3)?
Q. I worked for 35 years with the Postal Service. I am 64 years old. My 40 quarters are fully paid up from work prior to the USPS job and being a military reservist and active duty. I understand the reduction that the windfall elimination provision and government pension offset takes. After my federal retirement, however, I have continued working. I have not applied for Social Security yet. I still work, landing a job at a military base as a New York state employee. So I have now been making “substantial” payments into Social Security ($100 per pay period). I am in my 12th year with New York state. I have been receiving Social Security statements these past 12 years, and every year, my “estimated” Social Security payment has increased, from $368 to the current $1,000 per month. Is this Social Security “estimated payout” including the WEP and GPO legislative thievery? I have paid thousands into Social Security but am very concerned that I will never get back what I have paid into it.
Q. 1. I retired from Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration with nearly 33 years of service. Upon federal law enforcement mandatory retirement at age 57, I elected to have my wife receive 55 percent benefit if I precede her in death. Thus, my annuity is reduced. If my wife precedes me in death, is there an adjustment upwards of my annuity? How do I go about getting this changed? We have been married since 1979.
2. I started collecting Social Security benefits at age 63. Based on 42 quarters and the amount I paid into Social Security, my benefit is only about $150 per month. When I die is my wife eligible to receive partial Social Security benefits based on my Social Security account? She does not have enough quarters to qualify for her own Social Security payment.
Q. I am a Defense Department FERS civilian with 22 years of government service, age 58. My organization is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay.
1. Will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement until age 62?
2. Will my retirement pay be reduced for every year under the age of 62?
Q. I have 30 years of federal service as a WG-12. I am 52 years old. If I am nonretained in the Air National Guard, will I get my FERS retirement and my Supplemental Security Income? It is my understanding that if I’m over 50 years old with 30 years of service, I should receive both with no penalty.
Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee who wishes to retire from a Defense Department agency in early 2014 and begin collecting my annuity. I also wish to be employed by different DoD agency part time (less than 1,000 hours per year) immediately after I retire.
Will my retirement annuity be reduced to offset any portion of my new part-time income from the new DoD agency?
If my retirement annuity is not reduced by any portion of my new part-time income, will any portion of my new part-time income be reduced by any portion of my retirement annuity?
Is there any threshold (i.e. number of hours) working part time for a federal agency which, if exceeded, would result in either a reduced annuity or reduced part-time pay?
December 10th, 2013 | annuity reduction Creditable service: CSRS CSRS annuity computation CSRS Offset Government pension offset High-3 Military service deposits PAY RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY substantial earnings SURVIVOR BENEFITS Windfall elimination provision
Q. I worked in CSRS from 1972 to 1988 and returned in May 1990 as a CSRS Offset. I was a reservist on active duty from March 1991 to March 1992 during Desert Storm. I also have been drawing Social Security since May 2006. My husband passed away in September 2008, and I am receiving the survivor benefit. I want to retire this year, and I have no idea what I will receive. I think my total Social Security is about 27 or 28 years for paying.
December 9th, 2013 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS CSRS annuity computation Government pension offset PAY SOCIAL SECURITY spouse benefits substantial earnings taxes Windfall elimination provision
Q. Will I be able to draw Social Security if my husband is retired military and retired CSRS? I have work for more than 30 years paying Social Security tax and have been told I can’t draw. Will my husband be able to draw because he has paid Social Security tax as a self-employed contractor?
Q. Are there penalties for leaving/retiring 22 months before I turn 55? I am CSRS with more than 30 years. Would I have health insurance? I’m thinking I would lose 4 percent of the full retirement.
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 FERS employee. I am 57 with 26 years of service.
1. Do I get annuity computation for sick leave? If so, how is it computed?
2. I was born in 1956. What is my minimum retirement age, and how much service should I have under the MRA?
3. What happens with my annual and sick leave when I retire?
4. When should I start preparing my paperwork for my retirement?
5. My agency is going through a reorganization. We have the options for early retirement, buyout, being reassigned to New York or Boston (I live in D.C.), or leave the agency. Would the above actions make me eligible for the discontinued service retirement? Would I be penalized for every year I’m under 62?
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?
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 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 retired in 2008 with 33 years credited, of which three were in the military. I never bought back my military time. I am almost 59 now and have 35 quarters of Social Security banked. I understand that if I get over 40 before I turn 62, my pension will be affected. Most of my Social Security quarters earned were either military (in the 1970s; wasn’t much) and part-time work.
So I do not have much money vested in Social Security.
If I get 40 quarters and my pension is offset, how can I figure how much that will be? I may decide it’s to my benefit to continue part-time work.
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. I was collecting the special retirement supplement for over a year when a good job came open. I took it. I reported my excess earnings about being over $15,500, and they stopped my supplement. But now the job has gone away. Can I start receiving the supplement again? If so, will it start automatically? Or do I have to notify someone?
Q. I’m a CSRS Offset employee (58 years old) contemplating retirement in 2½ years with more than 41 years of service (plus over 1,400 hours of sick leave). Eight of the aforementioned years are active military. I plan to buy back those eight military years of service. Will buying those eight years of military service neutralize the reduction I face at age 62? I have also been employed for the past 13 years with a worldwide retailer and plan on continued employment with this retailer until age 62. Is it true that my CSRS service pension would not be affected by Social Security? I’m thinking that I will be able to draw the full CSRS pension (80 percent) and early Social Security payment (age 62) with no other reductions.