By Reg Jones
February 21st, 2014 | Benefits Creditable service: FERS DOWNSIZING Earnings test FERS annuity computation High-3 PAY RETIREMENT service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement VERA
Q. I am a FERS employee working for the Department of Agriculture. I have been offered a job outside of the government and am trying to see the pros and cons of leaving. I am a FERS employee with a service computation date of Aug. 17, 1986, and am 46 years old. If I apply for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, what would the disadvantages or advantages be?
February 21st, 2014 | Benefits Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation High-3 Military service deposits PAY Re-employment RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY taxes Windfall elimination provision
Q. 1. How are the days of active-duty service calculated?
2. Is that a one-to-one credit added to years of service?
3. Can you buy it back after you retire and adjust the annuity accordingly?
4. Can you buy back portions of it?
5. Can you pay in installments?
6. What percentage of military pay per year would you get in retirement? For CSRS, it is roughly 2 percent based on high-3; would it be calculated on actual salary back then or adjusted for inflation?
7. Any chance for a retroactive payment once established?
8. Will I lose any benefits if I do this?
9. Can I do this if I was not in the military long enough to earn a pension?
10. How does Social Security fit into this picture?
11. Can I get all three (FERS/CSRS, Social Security, military/Defense Department) separately? What is the penalty for collecting multiple pensions if done separately?
Q. I turned 60 on May 17. As of this past November, I have 27 years as a fed. If I retired now, with less than 30 years, is there a penalty? How much?
Q. I have 25 years of service with the Postal Service. I am extremely ill and have been told by my doctor that I would need to consider disability retirement. My base pay is $57,000 per year. Could you please tell me what my disability retirement will be?
Q. I resigned from federal service with 20 years as a WG-12 (age 45). I also had 26 years military (four active and 16 Guard). I was told that I could apply for a deferred retirement. Where can I find a calculator to see what my retirement would be when I reach age 62?
Q. I am 57 with 22+ years of service with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I’d like to find out what my FERS balance is and what would be the best time to start an annuity. I served from 1989 to 2010 + two years active military bought back.
Q. I have been receiving a FERS disability retirement annuity since November 2007. I am 60 years old. What will happen when I am 62 years old? Will I be able to draw my retirement without a penalty?
Q. I live in the Boston commuting area. My salary includes locality pay. My SF-52 shows basic pay and locality pay for a total adjusted basic pay. When factoring my high-3 average, is it based on my total adjusted basic pay, which includes the locality pay?
Q. I transferred from the Department of Homeland Security, where my high-3 salary was met as a GS-14 in a covered position, to a Defense Department position where I earn substantially less as a GS-13. Will my high-3 from DHS be used to compute my FERS annuity or the high-3 from DoD? Two different pay systems, USDA and DFAS. Does the Office of Personnel Management access each to determine high-3?
Q. Would I be penalized if I am a FERS employee, 49 years old with 26 years of government service. I just got a GS-11 job, so I do not have a high-3 at that level. My high-3 is at the GS-7. My job is offering the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. Can I go out with no penalties?
Q. When I was hired into civil service on May 8, 1989, human resources calculated my service computation date as Aug. 6, 1971, based upon some military time. (I was in the Air Force, serving from Dec. 3, 1969, until Sept. 4, 1987, receiving an honorable discharge.) Now that I am approaching FERS retirement, I need to accurately calculate an accurate service time.
My current salary (high-3) is approximately $89,450. I know that FERS retirement benefits are only one part (of three) that I will be eligible for — the others being Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan, but those are much more straightforward to calculate.
Q. I am nearing 41 years and 10 months of CSRS service. I plan to continue working for another six years. I have been told that no service beyond 41-10 will count toward my high-3. If that is correct, it seems unfair, especially given zero raises in the past three years.
Q. I am a dual status military technician. I was hired as a GS-13 in October 2009. I began an active-duty military tour in January 2012 and will return to GS-13 in July. Provided I buy back the time while on leave without pay for military duty on this tour (as well as buy back five years of active-duty time served prior to GS-13 employment), will I be eligible for any GS retirement benefits if I leave the GS-13 job in January 2015? I have contributed 10 percent into my civilian Thrift Savings Plan and received a 5 percent employer match while on GS status.
If so, what would they be based on (five years and three months of civil service + five years of prior active-duty service = 10 years and one month of credit?) When would I be eligible to receive it?
Q. Getting ready to retire next year. Using the Office of Personnel Management retirement calculator. When choosing what retirement system, it keeps telling me CSRS offset for my start date Oct. 24, 1984. However, I have been in FERS all along.
Q. Will my high-3 (already met) computation for retirement purposes be affected if I accept a lower-grade job at another agency, say from Army to the Department of Homeland Security? Can an agency allow “saved pay” if I accept a lower-grade job?
Q. I have 23½ years of honorable military service and am receiving a retirement check from Defense Finance and Accounting Services for 10 years.
If I enter federal service, do I have to stop my military retirement?
If I retire after 10 years of federal service, would I receive two retirements: one for military service and one from federal service? Or would I receive one retirement check based on the high-3?
Q. Can temporary promotions be used in the computation of an individual’s high-3?
Q. I have read a number of articles noting the best dates to retire in 2014. For example, I have seen March 22 and Dec. 28. As a GS-13 FERS employee who will have about 32 years of service at age 61 as of Dec. 28, does it really make that much of a difference to wait until Dec. 28 versus March 22 (at which time I will already be 60) in terms of my FERS annuity? I have about 1,800 hours of sick leave, have been maximizing my Thrift Savings Plan contribution most of my career, and I was eligible for buyout this past October. I’m thinking it’s time to go in 2014.
Q. I retired under the FERS disability provisions 16 years ago. I want to find out what portion of my monthly retirement benefit represents the special retirement supplement portion. At the time of my retirement, I had 16 years of creditable service. I am receiving about $1,900 per month, and I believe my calculation at age 62 would be times 1.1 percent. I will not be eligible for Social Security until age 62 and one month. Will I lose the supplement for one month?
January 28th, 2014 | Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation Deferred retirement EMPLOYMENT FEHBP FERS annuity computation HEALTH INSURANCE High-3 LIFE INSURANCE PAY Postal Service Re-enrollment RETIREMENT
Q. I am a 60 percent disabled veteran, so I earn a disability income. When I started work at the Postal Service, I bought my military time back so it would count toward retirement, so my service date is Sept. 1, 2001 (actually started in 2006). I am 46 years old now and I am looking to leave the USPS within three to four years. What options do I have for retirement? Could you explain deferred annuity and any other options available to me?