By Reg Jones
Q. I was required to retire from a federal law enforcement position in 2011 after 22 years (GS-13, step 10) due to reaching the maximum age. I may have an opportunity to work with another agency in a permanent position at the GS-12 level. What are the ramifications on my retirement and health benefits? Also, what if this were a re-employed annuitant position?
Q. I am looking at retiring in about a year. At that time, I will be 53 with 26 years of 6(c) coverage under FERS. I know I can retire right now, but will I be penalized for not waiting until I am 57 (mandatory retirement age)? Also, I understand I can earn as much as I can after retirement, but until what age? I had an officer tell me it was 57 and another said it was 62, the age when regular Social Security benefits are paid. I also believe that the Social Security benefits at 62 would be reduced but by how much?
Q. I am a retired federal employee on CSRS Offset. Law enforcement with mandatory retirement at age 57. My wife is older than I am and is drawing on her own Social Security. Until I am 62, all of the money is CSRS. When I turn 62, I will start to draw Social Security and my CSRS annuity will be reduced. Would my wife then be able to draw the spouse one-half amount of my Social Security (or whichever is the larger amount between us), or is there any language in which she would be restricted from my Social Security due to the fact that it is tied to my CSRS amount? She is having to sign up for Medicare because she is 65. We pay a lot of money for our federal health insurance. They will take $104. This would protect us with the Blue Cross secondary. Do you recommend signing up for Medicare even though it will decrease her benefits with Blue Cross health insurance?
Q. Are air traffic controllers who are forced to retire under mandatory retirement rules eligible to collect unemployment in New York state?
October 11th, 2013 | annuity reduction Creditable service: FERS Earnings test EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation law enforcement mandatory retirement PAY RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement
Q. I am in FERS in a law enforcement officer position. I was born in 1970. I joined my agency when I was 30 (Feb. 1, 2001) so I am eligible to retire when I have 20 years of service and turn 50 (Feb. 1, 2021). The mandatory retirement age is 57. If I were to retire at age 50, can I receive the special retirement supplement then, or do I need to wait until I turn 57 (what would have been my mandatory retirement age). If I receive the supplement at any point prior to age 57, what is the formula to figure out what the reduction would be? Any other factors to consider?
Q. I’m a law enforcement officer and will be subject to mandatory retirement on Jan. 31, 2014. Is there any recourse to not using annual use-or-lose leave by the Jan. 11 cutoff and extending it until Jan. 31, thus cashing out the 240 hours plus what I’m earning in 2013 (approximately 448)?
Q. I am a Customs and Border Protection officer. I was hired in August 2003. I am under the CBP officers enhanced retirement, which took effect in July 2008. According to my leave and earnings statement, it says my “Retirement 6C date” is Aug. 24, 2003, which is the date I was hired. Does this mean that my enhanced retirement benefits will be calculated from that date? I thought it would start from the July 2008 date. Can you clarify?
Q. I am an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration. On Jan. 31, 2018, I will be forced out at age 56. On Feb. 17, 2018 I would have received my 30 years of federal service. So as it stands right now I would get 20 years at 1.7 and nine years and 11 months at 1.0. If I take another federal job for the 17 days, would I then get 1.7 for 29 years and 11 months and 1.0 for the remainder of time? If so, can there be a break in service or does it have to be continuous service? I will be 17 days shy of a full 30 years of service when I am forced out. Is there anything I can do to get the full 30 years? Would a 17-day extension or possibly a different federal job give me the full 30 years at 1.7 since I will be 17 days past my mandatory retirement age?
Q. I am a law enforcement specialist with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at the Cheltenham facility. I have more than 20 years in federal law enforcement between the Federal Protective Service and the U.S. Park Police. My current position is a 6(c) covered position. Am I required to retire at age 57?
Q. Is there a limitation on the number of years an individual can be out of law enforcement? I was occupational code 1801 covered under FERS “M” retirement code, worked five years, separated in 2002, and was no longer covered under FERS. I am now 37, want to return as a law enforcement officer 1811. How should the time be counted? Mandatory age-out for an 1811 is 37.
Q. If I am sequestered and removed from my position for one day every two weeks, will that affect my mandatory retirement date as a law enforcement officer in the Bureau of Prisons? It would seem to me that if 57 years of age is the issue, then by removal of 26 duty days per year, I should be extended 26 days past my mandatory retirement date. Also, I will be 26 days short of satisfying my year of service, so my anniversary date for service or entrance on duty date becomes flexible and will be moving forward away from my established date.
Q. I am 53 and eligible to retire as a GS-1811 FERS employee. All things being equal, I would prefer to work more years toward my mandatory retirement age of 57. If I retire this year, I would continue my Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage into retirement. If I wait until 2014 or later, I would be forced into the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) plan. Do you recommend retiring this year under FEHB or delaying into 2014 or beyond and becoming subjected to Obamacare? And do you know whether current retirees under FEHB will be forced over to Obamacare (or grandfathered), in which case I might as well keep working?
Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer with 17 years employment with the U.S. District Court. With the economy on the decline, I have serious concerns that staff who earn a significant salary will be forced to retire before their 57th birthday to save the district money. Is forced retirement legal? Can an employee be forced to leave before their mandatory age? Can they be forced out once they reach 20 years of service even if it’s long before the mandatory age?
Q. I work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. We have a mandatory retirement age of 57. In recent years, we are seeing veterans being hired with waivers that will allow them to stay past 57, and in some cases, well past. I have also witnessed numerous seasoned staff members reach their 57th birthday and leave even though they really would have liked to stay. Is there any talk of leveling the playing field and letting the seasoned staff remain after 57 like the veterans? It would only seem fair. I do not feel that I will be ready to retire at 57 and strongly object to the income caps that will be placed on me even though it is not my choice to leave. I have directed this question to several agencies including the Office of Personnel Management and have yet to get a “decent” answer.