By Reg Jones
Q. My husband has a rare syndrome, and his prognosis is only a couple years. He cannot be left alone during the day, and I cannot afford to pay someone to stay with him all day. I am age 50, and a GG-13 Step 7 with 15 years of government service (four years of active-duty time is included in this). Can I retire now (I am under FERS) and still keep my health insurance? What would I receive in pension, and what would be the cost of keeping my health insurance as I cannot afford to lose it due to all of his medical appointments?
Q. I was active Army for two years and Army Reserve for 14 years. I bought back the two years. Can I also compute and buy back the annual active training including service/months in schools? If so, do I have to show orders and honorable discharge from the Reserve? I am a civilian employee for the Defense Department with 13 years of actual employment.
Q. I am a 54-year-old federal government employee under FERS. I have 10 years federal service from the military and three years of permanent service as a civilian government employee for a total of 13 years (I have not bought back the 10 years). I also have 13 years of state time from teaching. I would like to know if I can transfer my 13 years of state time to my federal time for retirement and vice versa. I am concerned about my retirement, and I am considering leaving the government without a retirement and working for either a public school or college as either a teacher or an administrative assistant.
Q. I am employed by the U.S. Treasury/Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and, based on service I have had with U.S. Treasury agencies, I have 17 years worth of credit under FERS.
However, between May 2000 and May 2005, I had spent five years working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. I am trying to determine if that time spent at the Federal Reserve can be credited for FERS retirement purposes.
Q. I have 21 years of FERS employment and, before working for the government, I had seven years with Florida Retirement System, working for state government. I recently heard that my previous state government work might be creditable with my current government employment. Can I file for my credit of service from the state retirement system to credit to my federal government work? I still have about three more years before I am 63 and able to retire.
Q. The situation is this:
* 14 years active duty (and have paid deposit)
* Six more years of civil service, then left without receiving a rebate on retirement contributions
* FERS calculator says I could draw retirement at age 60 with a total of 20 years (14 + 6) of creditable service
* I continue to serve in the Reserve and will draw a Reserve retirement at age 60, as well
Will I be eligible to draw both retirements, with no relationship between them or reduction to FERS retirement after military retirement pay begins?
Q. I’m age 50 with 25 years of non-Postal service under FERS. If I have a medical condition that qualifies me for disability retirement, will I still be covered under FEHB after retiring on disability? I would only pay my portion of the premium as if I am still employed, correct? I have been enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits my entire career.
And would I still receive the special retirement supplement when I hit my minimum retirement age of 56, even though I am retired on disability?
Q. I am 55. I wish to stop working for the government in three years, when I will be 58. I will have 26 years under FERS. I have approximately 2,000 hours of sick leave. Can I defer my retirement and submit for retirement at age 60? Would I lose my sick time, or would it be credited?
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 have 22 years in federal service under FERS and am 56 years old. I have held Tricare Prime under my retired spouse for over five years and Blue Cross/Blue Shield under my position for four years. If I take early retirement, can I carry my insurance into retirement? Do I meet the conditions to receive the special retirement supplement until I reach age 62? If not, under what conditions could I receive the special retirement supplement that would carry until I reach my Social Security age?
Q. I have worked for the Postal Service for 26 years. I just turned 50. I am under FERS. If I decided to retire at the end of the year, how would I calculate what my annuity will be? Additionally, if there were another early-out offer from the Postal Service, how would I benefit from that rather than retiring outside of the offer?
Q. I’m 55, with 29 years of federal service, of which only 16 is creditable to retirement under FERS because I have never repaid my active-duty time. I am being separated due to medical reasons. I have retired on the reserve side, and so can’t remain on the civil service side. I have applied for priority placement within the local commuting area but have not received an appointment. Am I eligible for, and at what point will I receive severance pay? According to personnel, I can’t receive retirement until 62, unless I repay the active-duty time.
Note: My letter stated that I was being removed through no fault of my own, that I was eligible for immediate unreduced retirement annuity based on my federal service. Under normal circumstances, I would receive a full year of continued employment as a civilian in what was my current slot. But I was denied that year of employment based on the full 29 years which supposedly made me eligible for retirement, but I was told I could not apply for retirement based on the actual creditable time. I want to know if this was correct.
December 4th, 2013 | Creditable service: FERS discontinued service retirement DOWNSIZING FERS annuity computation Minimum retirement age Reductions in force RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement VERA
Q. I am a FERS employee. If my command is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and I retire at the any age and 25 years of service (I am 47 years old and have more than 25 years of service):
1. Will I get my special retirement supplement along with my retirement pay? Or will I not be entitled to the supplement?
2. If my command has a reduction in force instead, will I be able to get my severance pay plus voluntary retirement with my retirement plus the supplement until my MRA?
Q. I have 174 hours of sick leave. I’m 62 under FERS. Should I retire Dec. 29, where I’d only get half of my unused sick time to add to my annuity but get the 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment in January? Or should I retire Jan. 3, 2014?
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 am working as a contractor in the PEIR Group for MSHA doing highly confidential and complex work. The position is supposed to convert to a government assignment in the coming months. What is the best strategy or documentation to use to negotiate for years of credited service for my industry expertise that makes me uniquely qualified for this work?
Q. I am a federal employee (under FERS) and Naval Reserve retiree (20 years of service). I will receive Navy Reserve retirement pay at age 60 (in 19 years). I am considering buying back four years of active-duty Navy service. Before doing so, I’d like to ensure that this does not forfeit or waive my Reserve retirement.
Can you share the reference that states that a retiree can receive both a Navy Reserve retirement and federal (FERS) retirement after completing military buyback of the active-duty portion of a Navy Reserve career?
Q. 1. If I return to the federal government, will my federal pension be reduced?
2. If I return, can this added time be recalculated to add to my existing pension? And if it is added, how long (in years) would I have to work for it to be added to my pension?
3. I retired in 2005 and received a buyout. Will I have to pay back the buyout?
Q. I am retired from the Air Force, serving 20 years on active duty. During that time, I performed hazardous duty during the Gulf War, resulting in being granted a 100 percent total disability rating after my retirement. However, all of my hazardous duty was in the states, not in the Persian Gulf region. If I combine my active duty and my FERS service, do I have to forfeit both military retirement and Veterans Affairs Department disability pay? My actual retirement pay has been substantially reduced due the VA offset.
Q. I have more than 17 years of federal service and contributed to both CSRS and FERS. My information:
Sylvia S. Garcia
CSRS — Fort Sam Houston, TX: 2/1981 – 9/1986 (GS-318-05)
CSRS — Kelly Air Force Base, TX: 9/1986 – 9/1996 (GS-318-04)
FERS — Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration (FV-318-D)
I withdrew my retirement contributions when I left Kelly AFB but did not withdraw my contributions when I resigned from Fort Sam Houston (and know they weren’t included in my refund), nor when I left DOT/Federal Aviation Administration. Please let me know what my options are as I am medically disabled at the moment and possibly indefinitely due to my illness.