By Reg Jones
Q. I’m age 50 with 25 years of non-Postal service under FERS. If I have a medical condition that qualifies me for disability retirement, will I still be covered under FEHB after retiring on disability? I would only pay my portion of the premium as if I am still employed, correct? I have been enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits my entire career.
And would I still receive the special retirement supplement when I hit my minimum retirement age of 56, even though I am retired on disability?
Q. I am a FERS-covered firefighter with a retirement date of Dec. 30.
I have been on the job since Dec. 30, 1984 (at retirement, I will have 29 years and one day) and I am 49. I have easily met the FERS firefighter retirement requirement of 25 years, any age.
I know the mandatory retirement age is 57 (I don’t need to concern myself with that).
I have been informed to be prepared for three to four months (potentially up to six months) before I would receive a “full/normal” retirement check.
I have recently started a small business which will be my self-employment after the fire department retirement.
I have read that I would be exempt from the “earnings test” as it pertains to the special retirement supplement reduction until I reach the minimum retirement age.
1. Is there a minimum retirement age for firefighters? If so, what is that age?
2. Have I already passed that age?
3. Is there a limit on what I can make in my self-employment and still draw the Social Security supplement?
4. Is three to four months (or more) to receive a “full/normal” retirement check a true/realistic time frame?
5. Is it true that “scheduled/mandatory” overtime is to be included along with the high-3 calculations?
Q. I am a FERS employee. I am 57 with 26 years of service.
1. Do I get annuity computation for sick leave? If so, how is it computed?
2. I was born in 1956. What is my minimum retirement age, and how much service should I have under the MRA?
3. What happens with my annual and sick leave when I retire?
4. When should I start preparing my paperwork for my retirement?
5. My agency is going through a reorganization. We have the options for early retirement, buyout, being reassigned to New York or Boston (I live in D.C.), or leave the agency. Would the above actions make me eligible for the discontinued service retirement? Would I be penalized for every year I’m under 62?
Q. I have 22 years in federal service under FERS and am 56 years old. I have held Tricare Prime under my retired spouse for over five years and Blue Cross/Blue Shield under my position for four years. If I take early retirement, can I carry my insurance into retirement? Do I meet the conditions to receive the special retirement supplement until I reach age 62? If not, under what conditions could I receive the special retirement supplement that would carry until I reach my Social Security age?
Q. I have worked for the Postal Service for 26 years. I just turned 50. I am under FERS. If I decided to retire at the end of the year, how would I calculate what my annuity will be? Additionally, if there were another early-out offer from the Postal Service, how would I benefit from that rather than retiring outside of the offer?
Q. I am a FERS employee with a service computation date of March 30, 1986, and a retirement SCD of Feb. 4, 1982 (I had 4+ years of active duty, for which I made a military deposit.)
My birthday is Feb. 15, 1959, so I will be 55 in February 2014 and 56 in February 2015.
If I were to receive and accept a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offer in 2014, would I still receive the special retirement supplement until I turn 62? If so, would it start immediately when I retired, or would I need to wait until I turned 56?
December 4th, 2013 | Creditable service: FERS discontinued service retirement DOWNSIZING FERS annuity computation Minimum retirement age Reductions in force RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement VERA
Q. I am a FERS employee. If my command is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and I retire at the any age and 25 years of service (I am 47 years old and have more than 25 years of service):
1. Will I get my special retirement supplement along with my retirement pay? Or will I not be entitled to the supplement?
2. If my command has a reduction in force instead, will I be able to get my severance pay plus voluntary retirement with my retirement plus the supplement until my MRA?
Q. I am 47 years old with 27 years of service with the Postal Service. I have been offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority so that an organizational restructuring can occur. Would this be considered the same as a reduction in force? Would I be eligible for the special retirement supplement because I am a FERS employee? If so, what age would I be eligible to receive the SRS? Immediately upon retirement, or down the road? Also, how would this affect my Social Security benefits?
Q. I am a 51-year-old Defense Department employee with 13 years of continuous service under FERS and considering leaving federal service and working in the private sector. Since my minimum retirement age is 56, I am ineligible for the MRA+10 retirement option at this time. If I return to federal service at age 56 or later, is there a minimum duration that I would be required to work before I can retire under MRA+10? I have been continuously enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits for the past 13 years and would re-enroll immediately upon returning to federal service. I would also leave my FERS and TSP retirement untouched.
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?
November 25th, 2013 | annuity reduction Creditable service: FERS Earnings test EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation law enforcement Minimum retirement age PAY RETIREMENT service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement
Q. I am a law enforcement officer, born 1967. My 6(c) service computation date is Nov. 1, 1989, and I plan to continue to work as a 6(c) until Dec. 31, 2014 (but not retire, simply change jobs/agency). I would like to continue working as a FERS regular employee until Dec. 31, 2020, when my youngest is out of college. If I change from 6(c) to regular FERS either now or at the end of 2014, do I mess up my ability to retire with the 6(c) computation of my 20 “good years,” or lose the ability to retire before minimum retirement age on an unreduced annuity, or give up the ability to avoid wage earnings testing against my special retirement supplement prior to my MRA?
Q. I am 52 years old and have 25 years of federal service to include my 13 years of military time, which I bought back. I am under FERS.
1. Do I qualify for the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, if offered?
2. Would I take a cut in retirement benefits?
Q. Next November (2014), I will have 20 years of civil service but will not be the minimum retirement age; I will be 54. If there is a reduction in force next year, could the minimum age requirement be waived? I am retired military with 15 years (early retirement in 1994). I fall under FERS.
Q. I am a Postal Service employee and under FERS. I am at my minimum retirement age of 56, have 33 years of service (25 with the Postal Service, November 1988-present, and eight years of military service that I bought back: Marine Corps, 1975-1979; Coast Guard, 1984-1988). I was going to retire voluntarily at the end of this month, but I have contacted the Office of Personnel Management and also contacted human resources shared services. One person tells me I’m eligible for the special retirement supplement, and another tells me no. I understand that the military buyback does not count in the calculation of the supplement, but I was under the understanding that the military time combined with the postal time would count toward the eligibility for the supplement.
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 plan to retire in May 2014 with 30 years (April 28) with the Postal Service under FERS. I will be 60 in September 2014. Can I receive the special retirement supplement in May or September?
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 am in a law enforcement position with 20 years as of September. I’m age 47. I’m looking at transferring to another federal agency that is not law enforcement. Would I be able to retire at the age of 50 from that agency if I choose, or will I be able to stay there after the age of 57?
Q. Could you please tell me what the 2014 cost-of-living adjustment will be for federal retirees who retired under FERS with a civil service component? I retired with 30 years of service. Of that 30 years, five years was under civil service.
I am 57 years old. When will I get my first COLA? Does my age play a role in that determination?
Q. I am a civil servant with 25½ years in under FERS. My position requires that I maintain a security clearance as a condition of employment. Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I may lose my clearance and subsequently be forced into “early retirement.” I am 48 years old. Will I be able to maintain my Federal Employees Health Benefits and special retirement supplement (when I turn 57) since I have 25 years in, if I am forced into early retirement?