Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

FERS and medical retirement

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Q. I am 67 years old and still working Civil Service with the Air Force. I was not planning on retiring anytime soon, but I fell at work, completely tore up my shoulder and will have to undergo reverse total shoulder replacement. I have been told this is a “career ender” and that I will be medically retired. I have been paying into FERS for 30+ years. I am drawing an allotment from the VA for Agent Orange diabetes mellitus. How do medical retirement and FERS and VA allotment work together? Read the rest of this entry »

Military buy back

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Q. I am trying to get information regarding the military service buy back program. I served in the military for four years and got medically retired. I receive compensation from the Veteran’s Affairs, so I thought that it would not be a good idea to buy back. But people say that I should get expert advice on this particular matter.  Could you tell me if the buy back program is beneficial for me? Read the rest of this entry »

When to retire on disability

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Q. I am 62 and have 7 years of service under FERS. My disabilities have worsened, and I must retire fairly soon.  I have some other income from a state pension that will help while I apply for SSDI, but I need to know when would be the best time to retire.  I do not believe my retirement will amount to more than enough to cover my life and health insurance with a little to spare according to a recent retirement estimate I received from HR.  So given that, is there a particular day of the month, being paid bi-weekly, when I should set for my retirement date? Read the rest of this entry »

Processes for disability retirement

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Q. I’m a 37 year old federal law enforcement agent Series 1811.  I have a medical condition that has affected my vision and likely cannot be corrected to the standards required by my agency without lengthy, involved treatment. Even though my eyesight has never affected my job, I qualify expert with my weapon and they are sending me to firearms instructor training, even as they say my eyesight is horrible.  If in fact, the doctors tell me that I can’t correct my eyesight enough, will my agency force me into medical retirement?  Can they give me another job?  Do they have to keep paying me at my current pay rate?  I’m a GS-12 with 15+ years combined federal service and active military time (which I have bought back).

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Disability retirement and law enforcement

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Q. I am receiving disability benefits. I am 49 years old and a former Customs and Border Protection officer. I was basically forced to retire when I became injured, and the agency informed me I was not suitable to be an officer, and they offered me a secretarial job. The agency asserted that I could no longer fulfill my job as a CBP officer notating the job description for 6(c) coverage. I am wondering if I should be entitled to 6(c) retirement under disability or regular retirement?

Before 6(c) was authorized, I was already performing the same duties just without the title. Furthermore, the agency even provided me with a description of a CBP 6(c) officer when they rejected any other law enforcement position for me.

Additionally, if I am found medically recuperated from my injury, does CBP have an obligation to place me back as an officer or supervisor?

Isn’t there a minimum age? I retired at age 44 with 19 years of federal service. I have been on disability for five years. Would they hire me again at age 49 or 50 in a 6(c) law enforcement position? If not, why does the Office of Personnel Management continue to send periodic medical evaluations?

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Medical retirement and taxes

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Q. I’ve been in the Mississippi National Guard since 2001 and in the military since 1993, so I’ve got a few years behind me. I was hurt on active duty and didn’t file the paperwork. Now I’m on the verge of being kicked out of the Guard and I will also lose my technician job. I’ve heard that I will be able to medically retire from the tech job if that happens. Is the retirement pay from the tech job taxable?

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Service computation date

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Q. I have worked for the Defense Department since December 2008 under FERS. I was medically retired with 15 years and seven months of service from October 1984 to June 2000. I’ve bought back all of my service time. What should be changed with my service computation date? How does this affect my leave accrual time?

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Military buyback

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Q. I was active-duty Air Force for three years and eight months, then medically retired with a service-connected disability of 30 percent. I receive a monthly pension from the Air Force and also the Veterans Affairs Department. Now I am a FERS employee with 25 years of civil service. If I buy back my military time to have it credited toward my civil service time, will I lose by monthly Air Force retirement and VA pay?

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Medical military retirement and FERS annuity

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Q. I am a 12-year (1987-1999) Air Force veteran who got medically retired with full benefits. I have been with the federal government since 2006 in FERS. If I bought my military time back, how would that affect my medical, ID card, and all the perks of being military retired?

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Medical retirement

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Q. If I apply for CSRS medical disability retirement, what is the difference vs. a regular retirement? Would I be taxed at the same rate?

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Leave accrual credit and military time

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Q. I was on active duty for over 11 years and then received a medical retirement in June. I received a 90 percent Veterans Affairs Department disability rating. I have received a job offer in the VA health care system based on the training and experience that I received on active duty.

1. Can I receive leave accrual credit for my active-duty time? What is the pertinent section of the U.S. Code that deals with this?

2. Any other benefits that are transferable?

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Sick leave

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Q. I had a retirement date of Jan. 3, 2014, but have developed some health problems and may need to go out earlier or use my 17 weeks of sick leave, which would take me to the same date. Would it behoove me to use up the sick leave or go out two to three months earlier with the sick leave in tact? I will have 35 years, eight months and 13 days if I go out on Jan. 3, 2014.

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Forced to take position with lower salary?

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Q. I am employed at a special salary rate and may be medically disqualified from my position. Can I be forced to take a position at the same paygrade which would result in a very significant loss of pay? Is my current salary guaranteed if I am forced to accept another position?

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Military buyback

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Q. I didn’t retire from the military. I was medically separated. So why do I have to do a military buyback for 12½ years in uniform? I have been with the Defense Department for almost 13 years but have received a length of service award for 24 years. Am I missing something here?

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Medical retirement

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Q. I am a federal employee (25 years) under FERS. Can my employer (deputy of our division) send me an email, requesting that I consider medical retirement due to my heart condition? It goes without saying that I have days that I need to telework (he doesn’t like that), and/or be on leave due my illness.

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