Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Seniority and military service deposits

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Q. Does seniority play a part in military buy back? Do you move up in seniority with your buy back time? Read the rest of this entry »

Possible RIF’s effects on workers

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Q. I work at an airport as an air traffic controller for the FAA. The airport is not very busy with commercial traffic, and I am curious what the FAA would do with me if they shut down the air traffic control tower where I work at because of inactivity. If there were a reduction in force for air traffic controllers in the FAA, would they base it on our service computation date? Read the rest of this entry »

Annual leave computation

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Q. My service computation date is 11/1999. Will I accrue eight hours of leave starting 11/2014? Read the rest of this entry »

Redeposit of CSRS

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Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee with almost 30 years of service. After my first period of civilian service (1981 through 1992), I was laid off during a RIF. I withdrew my CSRS deposit in 1992 and have not paid it back.

Can I still get retirement credit for my civilian service prior to March 1, 1991, and receive actuarial reduction versus paying back my withdrawal plus interest? Read the rest of this entry »

Prior service adds to service comp time

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Q. I am currently a DoD employee with prior military service as well as time with USPS. My service computation date was adjusted to reflect my prior military time. Am I allowed credit for the time I was with USPS. If so, how is that time computed/reflected?  Read the rest of this entry »

Buying back LWOP for annuity calculation

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Q. At 19, I was recruited and placed into a civilian Defense Department position as a cooperative education student. I would be placed on leave without pay during periods when I was attending college and not working. This continued for five years. My start date was June 1980 and I finished my degree in August 1985. My service computation date is April 1982. Is there an option to buy those LWOP periods to bring my SCD to 1980?

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VERA pros and cons

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Q. I am a FERS employee working for the Department of Agriculture. I have been offered a job outside of the government and am trying to see the pros and cons of leaving. I am a FERS employee with a service computation date of Aug. 17, 1986, and am 46 years old. If I apply for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, what would the disadvantages or advantages be?

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Retirement date

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Q. What are the differences if my retirement date is Nov. 29, 2014, or Dec. 1, 2014? I will be retiring from the Postal Service as a Level 18 postmaster. I am retiring under CSRS. My service computation date is July 6, 1979. I will be turning 55 on Nov. 16. I have worked continuously at the Postal Service, and I have 1,848.84 hours of accumulated sick leave.

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Creditable service

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Q. I will be 56 on April 27, 2017. My service computation date is Dec. 31, 1986. I was in the Coast Guard from 1982 to 1986 and with the National Park Service since Dec. 31, 1990. Seven years ago, I bought back my four years of service to add to FERS, but when I was hired by the NPS, for three years or so, I was under a temporary not-to-exceed one year appointment that got renewed each year until the Office of Personnel Management declared those appointments no longer valid. We were basically full-time employees with no benefits. So I’m assuming those three years or so of temp employment will not count toward my time? And that you can’t buy that time back like I did my military service time?

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VERA and severance pay

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Q. I began working for the Defense Department in 1981. In 1993, I took a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. I received severance pay at that time. I came back to work in 1998. My adjusted service computation date is 1987. I have 26 years with DoD, and I am 52. If a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority is offered and I apply, provided I am approved, would I receive severance pay minus the amount I received in 1993 or none at all?

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Leave without pay

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Q. How does leave without pay affect your retirement status within the Postal Service?

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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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Service computation date for RIF

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Q. I am retired military with 20+ years of active-duty service serving in a full-time competitive service position under FERS. Eleven months of my military time is counted as “creditable military service” since it was served in a qualifying campaign. My service computation date for leave was adjusted by 11 months for the creditable time. Should my SCD for reduction in force also be adjusted based on this time?

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Service computation date

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Q. I recently received six months of credit for a Veterans Affairs Department internship I did in 1990-91, added to my service computation date. My federal job began in March 2008, but my SCD is now September 2007. I know that periods of nondeduction service performed on or after Jan. 1, 1989, aren’t creditable for retirement purposes. So what value, if any, does it have for my SCD to now be six months greater than my retirement SCD?

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Service computation date

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 Q. I left federal service in 2008 and was rehired in 2011. My service computation date was set up to reflect the two years I left service. I would like to get that time back and keep my original service computation date. What regulation is being referenced, and whom do I speak with about taking care of this?

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Wrong retirement system?

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Q. I was active-duty military from February 1976 to February 1980. Then, from February 1980 to 1982, I was a temp employee. In February 1982, I was made permanent in the same position and placed in CSRS, where I remain today. I have paid both deposits for my military and temp time and my service computation date is February 1976. I read in your column where employees have been placed in the wrong retirement system and wanted to confirm I’ve been placed correctly in CSRS.

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Civilian deposit/redeposit

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Q. I’m a federal civilian FERS employee. I’m 54 years old and will be 55 in March. Now that I’m almost at the 30-year mark and with my minimum retirement age around the corner, I recently sat down with my retirement adviser to figure out my annuity computation numbers for retirement. My service computation date is Jan. 28, 1984. While there, I found out that I was on a not-to-exceed appointment until June 10, 1984. I filled out a request for civilian deposit/redeposit application. I found out that I had owed $48 during that time and now I owe $287 with the interest. Since I will have the 30 years this month, and by June it will be 30 years at a permanent civilian position, what would be the advantage to paying that off? If I don’t get that paid, what is the penalty when I retire either in March 2015 or in an event of an early-out?

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Re-employment

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Q. I am a former federal employee seeking reinstatement. I worked full time for seven years (1990-1997), then worked part time for another two years. During this period, I initially worked 32 hours per week, then cut back to 20 hours per week. I resigned in 1999 to become a full-time parent. At the time I resigned, I was GS-14, Step 3. I had been at the GS-14 level for one year, but part of that time was part time and part was leave without pay after the birth of a child. When calculating years of federal service, is it based on full-time employment? Am I eligible for employment at the GS-14 level, or should I be applying for jobs at the GS-13 level? I was a GS-13 for several years before being promoted.

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Service computation date

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Q. I served on active duty in the Marine Corps for 16 years and seven months. I also have enough creditable Reserve time to have earned Reserve retirement upon my 60th birthday in five years. I have worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for more than eight years now and was recently awarded my pin for 25 years of federal service. The date on my 25-year certificate is Feb. 22, 2013, and my service computation date for leave is July 30, 1987. My pay entry base date for the Marine Corps is Sept. 22, 1977. My active duty base date is Oct. 24, 1977, and my effective retirement date from the Marine Corps is Jan. 1, 2006. Is there a formula somewhere that would decipher all of this?

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Catch 62

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Q. I am a federal employee under CSRS. My service computation date is May 1, 1976. I have six years of active-duty service and do not qualify for Social Security, nor will I qualify when I plan to retire at age 62. I know at that time, since I don’t qualify for Social Security, no deposit is required to get credit for my military service and that my federal CSRS annuity will not be reduced.

Assume I retire at age 62 as described above not qualifying for Social Security. But, say, at age 63, I get a private-sector job after retiring from CSRS, and at age 64, I do qualify for Social Security. Will my CSRS annuity be reduced (adjusting for my military service) at the time I become eligible for Social Security? Or does that reduction only apply if you qualify for Social Security prior to CSRS retirement?

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