By Reg Jones
Q. I have four years and 11 months as a GS employee who has resigned. Will I receive a bulk refund for what I paid into FERS, and do I also receive what the government contributed? I don’t want to defer my FERS till I am 62.
Q. Is my service computation date the total number of years that will be “creditable” to compute my retirement annuity/pension?
A. It usually is, but not always. If you served in the military and were given annual leave accrual credit for that time, the SCD would be based on that. However, if you are a FERS employee, unless you made a deposit to get credit for that service, it wouldn’t be included in your retirement SCD.
Q. Is there any way I can get back into CSRS? Are you aware of anyone who has?
Q. You responded to a recent question regarding someone retiring from the Senate at age 50 with 21 years of service. He asked if he would be eligible for the special retirement supplement at age 56. You responded by saying yes if he was FERS. If I work for the Postal Service and have almost 28 years, am 58 years of age, and am under FERS, would I be eligible for the supplement if I retired?
Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee with 18 years of CSRS service, an 18-month break in service, then 13 years of FERS service. I have just reached my minimum retirement age (56). Am I entitled to the special retirement supplement if I retire now?
Q. How is the special retirement supplement calculated? When I reach my minimum retirement age, I will have 25 years of civil service. I believe the eight-plus additional years military buyback only counts for retirement annuity. So what is the formula used to estimate what the supplement amount would be until age 62, when regular Social Security kicks in?
Q. I am a civilian federal employee under FERS with 14 years of credit. For various reasons, I am considering joining the military or reserve and leaving my civilian status. I see many references to military service counting toward subsequent civilian service, but I don’t find anything regarding the opposite. Will my civilian time transfer to the military or reserve? Where can I find more info on the best way to plan for this?
Q. I’m a FERS employee who has had my retirement benefits calculated (58 years old with 33 years of service), and it does not show the special retirement supplement. Where can I find information about eligibility for the supplement? And how is it calculated into my retirement?
Q. I served on active duty for 14 years, 10 months and 24 days. I was permanently retired with service-connected disabilities. I have since been a federal civilian for two years. Based on my service computation date, I was awarded a 10-year pin for federal service due to my nonparticipation in the military buyback program. How will this affect me under FERS for retirement from civil service?
Q. OPM states repeatedly *_When you reach age 62, your annuity will be recomputed using an amount that essentially represents the annuity you would have received if you had continued working until the day before your 62nd birthday and then retired under FERS._*
So here is the case. Employee is 59. Last three years of salary are $60K, $59K, $58K, so a high-3 of $59K. If the employee had worked to age 62, she would have a high-3 of $60K not $59K incremented by nonexistent cost-of-living adjustment. So which is it? Does your high-3 get recalculated to *_represents the annuity you would have received if you had continued working until the day before your 62nd birthday and then retired under FERS. Or not?
Q. I am 57 years old and qualify for FERS retirement benefits. I have 18 years of service and considering retiring this year. I have four years of service as a rural carrier associate from 1990 to 1994. Do these years qualify for buyback? How do I find out how to purchase these years of service and how much it would cost to repurchase these years? I also have six years in the National Guard (1974-1980).
Q. I am a civilian employee, GS-0132, with the Defense Department. I served 8½ years with the Department of Justice and Department of the Interior as a GS-1811. I am trying to find out whether those years served will count as 1½ years each toward my retirement (making 12¼ years vs. 8½ years in the calculation). Do you know of a regulation/policy speaking to this issue? My human resources office is unable to provide a definitive answer, other than to say “I think that only applies if you serve the full 20 years as an 1811, but I’m not sure.”
Q. I have 29 creditable years (including active duty) in the North Carolina National Guard. Of that time, I have 13+ years of active-duty time. I am 47 years old. If I make a deposit have the active-duty time applied to 18½ years of Postal Service, would I be able to retire from the USPS and receive my retirement right away without any penalty? Also, would I still receive my full 29 years of creditable military service as a retirement when I reach age 60, or will buying my active-duty time and applying it to USPS mess this up?
Q. I recently entered a federal job after separating from the Air Force. If I buy back my three years of active-duty time, do I only need to complete two years of actual federal service to reach the five-year minimum for an immediate retirement at age 62? I understand that this retirement benefit would only be 5 percent of my high-3 pay.
Q. I am a FERS employee tentatively planning to retire on my 62nd birthday (Nov. 30), which is both the end of the month and the end of a pay period. I will have over 27 years in at that point. Are there any pitfalls or cautions that I should consider that might lead me to wait until the end of the year, or longer? I am really eager to go.
Q. I recently separated from the Navy after 11 years of active duty. Federal retirement at the Bureau of Prisons is 25 years or 20 years after age 50, I believe. How does this work? Does my 11 years go toward the 25 years and allow me to retire in 14 years from my start date to equal 25 years?
Q. I am retiring at the end of June at age 62 with 25 years under FERS. I also retired in 2003 from the Army Reserve after 22 years. This includes six months of active duty for Operation Desert Storm. I repaid the required amount to receive credit for this six months, which is included in my 25 years.
I know I do not get credit for my weekend drills. But can the two-week annual trainings that I took each year (for about 20 years, amounting to about 40 weeks of full-time active duty for training in the Army Reserve) count toward my FERS retirement credit?
Q. I have three years and four months time in civil service and under FERS. I will be 62 when I hit five years under FERS and eligible for pension. If I take a three-year term position at this time, will this count to make my five-year vesting, and will I be able to retire under the FERS plan the same as if I worked three more years in my current position? I have bought back my military time, which is an additional four years.
Q. I served in the military from June 1974 to April 1981. I was then hired by civil service in April 1983 as a temporary employee. I was picked up as permanent in July 1984, and my service computation date is June 1976.
For whatever reason, when FERS was implemented, I was left in the original CSRS retirement plan and have been paying into CSRS for 29 years and 11 months. I applied for retirement computation last month and was notified by the human resource office that I will have to switch to FERS or CSRS offset to retire. Since I have invested into CRSR my whole career, can I remain in CSRS?
Q. I work as a staff physician for the Veterans Affairs Department. I previously completed my four-year residency at a university that required extensive time working at the local Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Do those four years count as government service toward my retirement?