By Reg Jones
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 Postal Service employee in maintenance as an electrical technician. I have 23 years of service at age 56. Our office is going through an accelerated plant closing. I received a letter of involuntary reassignment (no date given) in May. There are no ET jobs within 50 miles of our office (limit on excessing under American Postal Workers Union contract). Under the contract, I can be forced into a lower-level job, (window clerk, city carrier, custodian) up to 50 miles away with saved grade and retreat rights. Can I qualify for a discontinued service retirement? If not, what do I need to qualify? I would like to retire without penalty. Otherwise, I need to work until I am age 60. Are there any other options I don’t know about?
Q. When I reach age 56, I will have 20 years of federal employment. I realize I can retire at MRA + 10 with a reduced benefit of 30 percent. Can I defer or postpone my retirement to age 60, qualify under the 60/20 and not take a reduced benefit? Also, how does this affect my health benefits? Do I purchase my own health insurance and then re-enroll when I apply for my 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 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.
Q. I worked at the Postal Service from 1986 to 2000. Now, I am 60 years old and would like to file retirement at 62 years. What form should I file?
Q. I’m a Defense Department employee with 19 years of federal service, and I’m 37 years old (I had 12 years of active-duty military time, which I bought back toward my government time. If the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay is offered again this year, I’m considering accepting the buyout. If I accept the buyout, can I still apply for a deferred annuity once I reach age 62? Is there much benefit to waiting until I have 20 years of federal service, as opposed to separating with 19 years? I still won’t be at my minimum retirement age (57), even if I wait until I have 20 years. I will still only be 38, and will still have to apply for a deferred annuity, so what’s the difference?
Q. I had just over five years of federal service before resigning and moving out of state. So, I had a break in service. I am now back in the federal service and want to know if the prior years will count toward my retirement. And if I leave the federal system again, will I still get an annuity check at age 62 because I was vested? I did withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan, but I did not get a refund of my FERS retirement deductions. Can I get a refund of my FERS retirement deductions because I had a break in service?
Q. I’m 52 and have almost 34 years of federal service under CSRS. If I were to resign, would my retirement start at age 60? Would health insurance start, as well, at age 60?
Q. I am more than 58 years old and voluntarily resigning from my position with the Veterans Affairs Department. I have 20 years of creditable FERS service and plan to postpone the start of my annuity and my retirement until my 60th birthday. I plan to submit the Form 92-19 two months prior to my 60th birthday, which will be in October 2014. In the interim, I will be obtaining my health insurance through my spouse, but I have plans to regain our family health/life insurance (held less than five years) at the same time I start my annuity, which will be without age reduction because I have 20 years and will be 60 at that time. I am confused about my eligibility for the special retirement supplement between age 60 and 62. I do not think it will be retirement at MRA +10 at that time, but I may be wrong. Please explain what category my postponed annuity/retirement situation falls under.
Q. I am a career employee with just over three years of civil service. I bought back 10 years of military service. If I am affected by a reduction in force before I reach five years of civil service, would I still be eligible for a deferred annuity when I’m 60? If I don’t qualify for FERS, does that mean I wasted the money spent for the military buyback?
Q. After working for the Postal Service for 20 years, I left service in 2004. I started as an RCR in 1984, and later became an RCA. In 1995, I became a rural carrier full time and was in FERS for nine years. I heard that I can buy more years for my retirement calculations. I turn 62 in December. How do I find out what buying some years will cost, and what forms will I need to have everything ready for December? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I plan on applying soon for a FERS deferred annuity.
Nowhere have I read whether the Office of Personnel Management actually purchases an annuity from a private insurance company, creates its own version of annuities, or a FERS deferred annuity is simply a transfer of monies out of the General Fund (tax payments)? Please explain whether a FERS annuity is a private annuity contract, a public contract or just another tax payment transfer program (like the Social Security Administration).
If it is private, what insurance company is used? If it is public, is this just another transfer program from FERS current contributors?
November 15th, 2013 | annuity reduction Coverage after retirement Deferred retirement Eligibility EMPLOYMENT HEALTH INSURANCE Minimum retirement age MRA + 10 PAY Postal Service Re-enrollment Resignation RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement
Q. I am 49 and was wondering if I can retire at 52 with 20 years of Postal Service time even though my minimum retirement age is 56. If so, could I defer my pension until 60 and collect it then with a 5 percent penalty for each year before 62? Would I be eligible to continue my health benefits and collect the special retirement supplement until age 62 if I were to do that? Or would I have to use my MRA+10 computation to retire? If that is the case, would I then be able to continue my health benefits and receive the special retirement supplement at 56?
Q. I have over 14 years of civil service. I’m retired military (20 years). I’m almost 58 years old. I fall under FERS.
A while back, an email came down asking who would be interested in Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. I replied in the affirmative.
If they offer VERA/VSIP, my supervisor says he would not approve it for me, as he cannot afford to lose the position.
My plan was to retire at 60, but if they offered VERA/VSIP, I would go earlier. With talk of reductions in force being thrown into the mix, I’m concerned what course would be most beneficial for me. If RIF is enforced or if VERA/VSIP is offered, do they waive the 5 percent-per-year penalties for early retirement?
How do I find out how much penalty I would incur if they do not waive them? Should I buy back my military time? Keep it separate? Stay until 60?
Q. I am going on 42 with 23 years of federal service. I would like to know if I would qualify for anything if a reduction in force were to take place. I see the computation charts show any age but you need 25 years. I don’t have 25 yet, so would that mean I wouldn’t be eligible for buyouts or anything until then?
Q. I resigned about 12 years ago as a FERS employee after working for 17 years. My 61st birthday is approaching, and I want to take a deferred annuity with a full survivor benefit. I understand that because I’m retiring one year before I turn 62 I will be penalized 5 percent. I also understand that the cost of a full survivor benefit is 10 percent. I further understand that the survivor benefit is normally 50 percent of the unreduced annuity. And lastly, I understand that if my survivor were to die before me, my annuity would return to its “base amount.” My questions concern how these reductions are to be applied for my situation and how they affect my survivor. To keep this simple, allow me to assume that my gross unreduced annuity is $1,000 monthly.
1. I get that my 5 percent reduction for retiring at 61 instead of 62 would bring my annuity down to $950 monthly, which I believe would then be my “base amount,” but what is my cost for a full survivor benefit: 10 percent of $1,000, or 10 percent of $950?
2. What would be the amount of my survivor annuity: 50 percent of $1,000, or 50 percent of $950?
3. If my choice for a survivor annuity were to predecease me, what would my annuity then increase to: $950 or $1,000?
Q. I was a tenured foreign service officer. I have nine years of creditable service. I voluntarily left the Foreign Commercial Service after multiple posts. I left in August 2010 with excellent reviews and under great conditions and awards. I was 54 when I left the service to join a private company. I am now 58.
I would like to apply for retirement benefits to qualify for Federal Employees Health Benefits for myself and to gain any other benefits from the pension. Can you help me to understand what I may be eligible for and when I could apply?
November 8th, 2013 | Creditable service: FERS Deferred retirement FEHBP FERS annuity computation HEALTH INSURANCE LIFE INSURANCE MRA + 10 Postponed retirement Premiums Re-enrollment RETIREMENT Tricare
Q. I turn 60 on Jan. 1, 2015. I am a FERS employee who will have 20 years creditable service in January of 2014. If I retire Dec. 13, 2014 (the end of a pay period) do I understand correctly that my Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage will be extended for 31 days at no cost to me?
I plan on postponing my annuity receipt until Jan. 1 (when I turn 60) to avoid the under-62 penalty. Also, do I understand correctly that since my postponed annuity date will be Jan. 1 that my first annuity payment will not be until February?
I am also an Air Force Reserve enlisted ART employee, so I have to leave at 60, but because of the changes to Reserve retired pay eligibility based on active duty orders, I qualify for Reserve Retirement pay earlier than 60. But as you know, if I retired when I was eligible, I would not be able to enroll in Tricare for retirees (except the plan for “gray area,” which involves paying the entire monthly premium).
November 7th, 2013 | Annual leave Creditable service: FERS Deferred retirement EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation LEAVE Military service deposits Re-employment Resignation RETIREMENT Retirement date Sick leave
Q. I joined the military Sept. 12, 1978, and retired Oct. 1, 2008, with just over 30 years of active military service (no broken time). I began working for the federal government under FERS on Jan. 4, 2009.
I’ve been told that I can resign after five years of government service (Jan. 3, 2014) and collect retirement benefits from the federal government once I reach the age of 62. Is that correct?
If I have 40 hours of annual leave and 40 hours of sick leave, what is the earliest I can retire? Would it be two weeks prior to Jan. 3? Or one week? And if it is 2 weeks, will I be paid for both weeks or just one week (annual leave)?
Once I reach the age of 62, if I qualify for retirement benefits for my federal service, what will I need to do to begin collecting that benefit?