Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Deferred vs. postponed retirement

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Q. I am a FERS (non-LEO) employee and plan to leave government service at age 50 with 26 years of service. Do I elect to defer or postpone my retirement? At what age do I draw from my retirement; 56, 60 or 62? At what age would I qualify for life insurance to be included again? Read the rest of this entry »

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Retirement and financial penalties

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Q. I’m a DoD employee, age 52 3/4 years with 28 1/4 years of service. My goal
is to retire when I reach 30 years of service, but I’ll still be almost two
years short of my MRA, and therein lies the rub. I’ve done a fair bit of
research, but try as I might, I cannot find an avenue for retirement before my
56th birthday that does not entail major curtailments in my benefit. If I
retire at 30 years of service, I’m hit with a 40 percent (5 percent times number of years
until 62) reduction in my annuity. I won’t be eligible for a postponed
retirement and a deferred retirement means the loss of my Federal Healthcare
Benefit and that is just not acceptable to me.
It appears that early retirement, even a few years shy of MRA, is
disincentivized to the point that most employees that did not have a medical
condition or some other life-changing event would be crazy or desperate to
retire before MRA.
Is there a way I can retire at any time between now and my 56th birthday
that does not entail major financial penalties (say 10 percent for the sake of
argument) and/or the loss of healthcare coverage?

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Deferred vs. postponed retirement

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Q. I have been reading several answers regarding deferred or postponed retirement. In my situation I think I understand that I can postpone my retirement until age 60 then request a postponed retirement. I am 57 years and 3 months old and plan to resign for a different position outside of government. I have 21 years of federal service, which includes 2 years 11 months of military buy back time. My MRA is 56. I know I will be eligible to re-enroll in federal employee group health insurance, as I have had it for 18 years continuously. What happens to my accrued sick time? Finally, is there a difference in deferred or postponed retirement in a case like mine? It seems these are interchangeable words in this case? Read the rest of this entry »

CSRS deferred retirement

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Q. I was eligible for subject retirement at age 62 on Feb. 19, 2012, but I didn’t apply for it and am now applying at age 65. What will happen to the annuity I could have taken during the three years I was eligible but did not apply for? Read the rest of this entry »

Retiring under MRA

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Q. I am 52 with 31 years of FERS service. If I retire now, would I still get the special retirement supplement when I turn 56?  Or is that only if I were offered a voluntary retirement?  Can I get my retirement now? What is the penalty given my age and years of service? Read the rest of this entry »

Disability and deferred retirement

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Q. I am a FERS employee with the Defense Logistics Agency and have 22 years of service. I turn 50 on Sept. 30. I am considering deferred retirement when I turn 50. What penalties would be applied if my minimum retirement age is 56? I am 100 percent  VA disabled total permanent, but not sure I want to go through another disability battle with OPM. Read the rest of this entry »

Federal retirement

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Q. I spent eight years active duty in the Air Force as a physician in the late 1990s. I would like to end my career practicing at the VA. I am 59 years old. If I work at the VA for 11 years, I will only have 19 years of federal service. Will I be entitled to any federal government pension? Must I work a full 20 years for the Fed? Will that effect the Social Security funds that I have contributed to for the past 25 years? Read the rest of this entry »

Deferred retirement

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Q. I’ve completed five years of creditable civilian service with the VA and “purchased” my four years of military service, and now I work for the state. If my annual average pay was $44k, how much can I expect to receive after I apply for deferred retirement at the age of 62? 65? Read the rest of this entry »

FERS retirement multiplier

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Q. A recent post stated you can receive your FERS retirement benefits calculated at the rate of .011 with 20 years of service at age 62. Does this benefit rate of 1.1, apply if you resigned your employment before the minimum retirement age, have more than 20 years of service and elect to receive a deferred retirement at age 62? At age 60, benefits are calculated at .01. Is there a choice? Read the rest of this entry »

FEHB and deferred retirement

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Q. I started work in an letter of authorization appointment in June 2004. In January 2005, I was hired under a TERM contract not-to-exceed four years. I completed that term and a second one. At the end of that period, my only option to continue was to return to an L/A appointment. Because I was coming from a position with benefits (FEHB and FERS), I was able to keep them in the L/A appointment. The L/A appointment rules are changing (all the time, it seems), and at this point I don’t know if my L/A appointment can be renewed.

Though I’ve never been a permanent federal employee, at the end of this appointment, I will have nine years, and one and a half months of full time FERS, plus 10 months at 3/8 time. I will be 52.

I understand that as a general rule FEHB benefits cannot be picked up in the case of a deferred retirement, but I’m wondering if there is an exception because neither myself nor my employer are wanting me to stop working, there just isn’t a way to keep me working. (Well, there is a possibility I could work under a service contract act but would not have federal benefits.) Read the rest of this entry »

Calculating deferred annuity payments

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Q. I worked for  the  USPS from 1989 – 1999 as a full time Clerk.   Will I get a retirement pension of benefit in the future?  When it will be and  how much monthly payment I can get? Read the rest of this entry »

Deferred retirement

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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?

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Involuntary separation, health insurance and deferred retirement

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Q. I am 57 years and two months old. I am most likely going receive a sanction on my nursing license in late April or early May. I have 21 years and three months of service, including three years of military buyback time. I have carried federal health insurance since 1995. If I wait until the probable board sanction and I get terminated, will I still be able to defer retirement until age 60? Will I still be able to continue health insurance at age 60? Or would it be better to retire the day before the stated board of nursing action and avoid termination? Also, if I am terminated do I go to human resources and apply for deferred retirement, or do I do it through the Office of Personnel Management?

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FERS annuity

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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.

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Dual status retirement

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Q. I am a military technician who is reaching age 60. At that time, I will only have 16 years civil service. Will I receive a full retirement with the special retirement supplement? Or will it be a reduced retirement?

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Retirement at 30 years

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Q. I just received my 30-year pin for government service time worked as a FERS employee. I’ve been considering relocating to Florida and can’t find a government job. If I took a job at a town hall in Florida, would I be able to resign from my current government job and have them keep all my retirement and Thrift Savings Plan on ice until I would have been eligible to retire at age 56 without penalty? If so, would I also be eligible at age 56 for the special retirement supplement, even if I were working for the town, or would I have to retire from the town job to be eligible for the supplement?

The only reason I ask is that after seeing your answer to someone else’s similar question (they only had 20 years vested), part of your answer was: “The only way to reduce or avoid the reduction would be to retire and postpone the receipt of your annuity until a later date.”

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Deferred annuity and FEHB

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Q. I am 57 years and two months old. I have 21 years of federal service (FERS), including two years and 11 months of military buyback time. I am considering early retirement. I have maintained Federal Employees Health Benefits since I started 18 or so years ago. The human resources experts here are telling me that if I defer my retirement to age 60 (which I am eligible) that I can never again receive FEHB. I cannot find that statement anywhere. I have seen a local in-service slide presentation that you can defer retirement until age 60 or 62 and pick up health insurance at that time. Can you tell me what is correct in this scenario?

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FERS annuity eligibility

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Q. I received an “early-out/buyout” in 2006 with 22½ years of service prior to my minimum retirement age. I was age 46 at the time. Will I be eligible to receive any FERS annuity once I reach my minimum retirement age?

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Sick leave and FERS annuity computation

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Q. I am covered by FERS. At my minimum retirement age of 56, I will have 28 years of federal service and approximately one year’s worth of unused sick leave. My understanding is that if I retire at that point, my annuity will be reduced by 35 percent – 5 percent for every year I am under 62. Is there any way I can avoid this age reduction to my annuity other than:

1. Continuing in federal service until I am 58, at which point I will have 30 years of service without counting any unused sick leave, or

2. Postponing receipt of my annuity until I am age 60?

For example, what if I wait to retire until I am 57, at which point I will have 30 years of service including my unused sick leave. Could I retire at that point and start receiving my annuity without an age reduction at some point before I am 60?

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59 1/2 or 62?

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Q. I was employed by the Postal Service from 1987 to about 2000, out of 50 Brewery St., New Haven, CT 06511. I was informed that because of the length of time I was employed that I was eligible for a retirement benefit upon reaching the age of 59½. My 59th birthday occurred Aug. 3 (birth year 1954). I don’t remember my employee ID number, so how will I find the information I would need to apply for these benefits?

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