By Reg Jones
Q. I am 61 and will be 62 in September. I would like to retire at age 62. I have eight years of federal civilian service and bought back three years and eight months of military service. I know I cannot retire until I am 62. Due to a current civil legal action that I have, I would like to resign my position within the next 30 to 60 days. This would mean a deferred annuity with a retirement date of Sept. 30. My boss is looking to suspend me from duty without pay due to this situation pending the final results of my civil action. What will I be losing by resigning and not waiting until my retirement date, even if I am suspended from duty without pay? Should I just stay on suspension and submit for retirement for the end of September?
Q. I have 14 years of federal service and resigned in July 2011 to enter the private sector. When I resigned, I was 52 and under FERS. When can I apply for my deferred annuity, and do I have the option of taking it earlier than age 62? I also understand that if I elected to take it earlier than 62, I would be penalized 5 percent per year based on what age I elect to take it (starting at 56).
Q. I’m 61 with about 18 years under FERS and 800 hours of sick leave. I quit my job with the post office in February 2012 and will defer my retirement until December, when I turn 62. Can I wait another month until January 2014 and receive 100 percent of sick leave value? Would this be a good move to make?
Q. I was given a directed reassignment from Washington, D.C., to St. Louis, to be effective this July. At that time, I will have the age and 29 years and eight months of service (CSRS), four months shy of 30 years of service in a quasi-government agency. If I refuse the directed reassignment (paid for by the government) what penalties would be applied to my retirement, if any?
There is a catch: If I accept the directed reassignment, I will not be allowed to retire for two years from the effective date of the reassignment. If I accept and retire before the two-year period, I will have to repay all expenses associated with the direct reassignment. If I do not accept the reassignment I will have to choose from the following options:
Voluntary optional retirement
Lump-sum payment of retirement contributions
Availability of other nonbargaining vacancies
Volunteering for a craft position, or
Resignation in lieu of involuntary separation.
Q. I’m a federal employee now, but I will leave my job and move to another state. I’ll be 60 years old in November. By the time I leave, I will have worked in my present job for five years and six months. Also, I’ve worked at the Federal Reserve for 6 months as a government federal employee. My retirement is under FERS.
Can the months I worked at the Federal Reserve be counted or combined to add to my five years and six months as a federal government employee? If it is, it will be six years of federal service. Am I eligible/qualified to collect a pension and/or benefit at age of 62? Can I apply now and collect later when I reach the age of 62?
Do I have to wait to apply until I’m at age of 62? I am willing to wait for two years to collect a pension benefit.
Q. I had 32 years in civil service and resigned at the age of 52. I left my retirement in place to file at a latter date. I am 61. When can I file for my CSRS retirement? I was told when I resigned by human resources I had to be 62. Is this true, or can I file and get retirement at age 61?
Q. I am 50, have 20 years under FERS and am thinking of retiring in six years when I reach my MRA of 56. If I do this, will I get health insurance coverage right away? Also, can I retire at 56 but delay retirement payments until 60 (or is it 62?) so I can avoid the 5 percent-per-year reduction in the payout? My main concern is keeping health insurance in place as soon as I retire at 56 — I can afford to delay the payout.
Q. I have read several of your responses to MRA+10 retirement questions about how to avoid a reduced annuity by postponing benefits. In some responses, you have given the age of 60 and in others the age of 62 even though they all had over 20 years of service. So I am confused. If I retire at the age of 56 with 25 years of federal service, can I collect unreduced benefits at the age of 60, or do I have to wait until age 62?
Q. I resigned from the Postal Service in August 2005. My start date was Jan. 15, 1975. My pension was placed in a deferred annuity. I understand this annuity is maintained in Pennsylvania.
Could I obtain the address of this place, and will I be able to draw my pension at 60 or 62?
Q. I will have been a federal employee for five years on Aug. 31. I will be 61 years old. I would like to leave federal service effective on that date. Will I be entitled to a pension? If so, how do I determine the amount. What is the financial impact if I wait to retire until August 2014 when I am 62?
Q. I am 58 years old with 22 years of service. If I elect to leave the service before I reach my 60th birthday, can I retire on my 60th birthday under a deferred retirement, or do I need to wait until my 62nd birthday? Will I have any penalties for leaving before my 60th birthday?
Q. I resigned from the Postal Service in August 2005. My start date was Jan. 15, 1975. My pension was placed into a deferred annuity. I understand this annuity is maintained somewhere in Pennsylvania. Can you tell me the address of this place? Will I be able to draw my pension at the age of 60 or 62?
Q. My wife just resigned from the U.S. Forest Service. She is 44 with more than 20 years of service. Did she lose all of her retirement, or is she still eligible to receive a portion at the reduced rate of 5 percent?
She was always in a position covered under firefighter retirement, eligible at 50 to retire. Also, is she still eligible for health benefits?
Q. If I have 20 years of federal service (including more than 15 in the foreign service) but I haven’t turned 50, can I retire but defer receipt of my benefits/pension until I am eligible at age 50? For example, an employee is 47 years old and has completed 20 years of federal service. Can that employee leave the service and still receive full retirement benefits beginning at age 50?
Q. I’m 46, with 12½ years in civil service. Per ABC, I can do deferred retirement; however, VERA/VSIP has been offered. Will this null and void my deferred retirement since it is a voluntary resignation?
Q. I am 55 years old and left civil service in 2001. I started civil service in 1990 and paid to add my military time (14 years) into my civil service time. When I left civil service at age 43, I had more than 25 years of creditable service. My minimum retirement age is 56 years, and I would like to start collecting my retirement annuity as soon as possible. Does it matter that I was involuntarily separated from civil service due to losing my security clearance for reasons that were not my fault? I also heard that if I were to take any federal service job at this time, it would change my retirement eligibility. Please advise me how I can start my annuity ASAP.
Q. I resigned from federal service in July 2011. I have 15 years of service and am 53. I was a FERS employee. I’m trying to figure out what my retirement will be. My understanding is that I can start drawing my pension when I’m 56. I also understand there is a 5 percent penalty for each year under 62, meaning if I started taking my pension at 56, it would be reduced by 30 percent.
It is also my understanding that the way to figure out what my pension would be is to use .01 x high-3 x years and months of service. Am I right?
Q. I am a former federal CSRS employee who lost employment when the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was closed in 1995. I had about 15 years of service and left my contributions in the system. I was born in July 1956 and am 56. When can I apply for a pension, and what can I expect? Would I take a deferred pension? Also, I have met my 40 quarters for Social Security and have been employed for about 17 years with the School District of Philadelphia. I am thinking about retiring when I am 62 but would like to know my options as far as the WEP and such. Can you help?
Q. I’m 49 with 30 years and one month of federal service. If I sign Standard Form 52 and resign, will I be able to collect my retirement at age 62?
Q. I had 16 years as a FERS employee and bought back my four years of active-duty time (20 years). When I left my federal job, I was told by human resources to apply for my deferred retirement at my minimum retirement age (56 years old) because taking the penalty (2 percent a year for every year under 60) was still better because it would take 18 years to make up the difference if I waited until age 60 to draw the annuity. Does that sound correct to you? I left federal service at age 46.