By Reg Jones
December 11th, 2013 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation DOWNSIZING FERS annuity computation PAY RETIREMENT Retirement date service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement spouse benefits SURVIVOR BENEFITS VERA VSIP Windfall elimination provision
Q. I am considering requesting a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and being off the rolls by March 31. My service computation date is Feb. 28, 1982 (CSRS and FERS). On Feb. 28, 2014, I will have 32 years of combined service (CSRS and FERS). On April 11, 2014, I will be 58 years old.
I transferred to FERS on March 30, 1994. Therefore, I will have 20 years under FERS on March 30, 2014.
I previously withdrew all of my retirement funds from CSRS, and never paid them back. I understand that although I did not repay my refund, the period of service will count toward length of service, but no annuity. Is this correct?
I had received a FERS benefit report that reflects CSRS service credit as 11 years, seven months and six days, but because some of that time was nonpaid deposit or redeposit, I will only receive eight years, 11 months and 27 days of CSRS service credit. My unpaid CSRS deposit is $627, and my CSRS redeposit is $30,607. Therefore, I am unable to pay all of this back prior to my retirement — and will have to pay a penalty, I am sure.
Since all of my annuity will be coming from FERS, will I be affected by the windfall elimination provision?
I have no survivor benefit, spouse deceased, which should make me eligible for Social Security widow’s benefit at age 60. How will this affect my special retirement supplement? Will I have to contact the Office of Personnel Management and report this change, or will they be notified by Social Security that I have filed?
Is the special retirement supplement equal to the Social Security benefits I will draw at age 62, or is it less?
Q. I am in FERS, and my service computation date is June 2, 1982. I will be 56 in April 2014. I have three dates for planned retirement: May 31, 2014; June 2, 2014; or June 28, 2014. I hear the special retirement supplement is based upon a full year of service. It appears 31 May 2014 is a good date to retire, but I will miss a full service year by three days if I select this date. I earn $100,000 per year. Which of the three dates would be best?
Q. I am a Defense Department FERS civilian with 22 years of government service, age 58. My organization is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay.
1. Will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement until age 62?
2. Will my retirement pay be reduced for every year under the age of 62?
Q. Can unused sick leave be added to actual service time to meet the 30-year threshold to be eligible for the special retirement supplement at my minimum retirement age?
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 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 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 5th, 2013 | annuity reduction Coverage after retirement discontinued service retirement EMPLOYMENT FEHBP HEALTH INSURANCE MRA + 10 PAY Postal Service Postponed retirement Re-enrollment RETIREMENT Special retirement supplement
Q. I have been told by the Office of Personnel Management that if I postpone my retirement until age 60, I would be penalized for every year I am under 62 and will not be eligible for the special retirement supplement.
I am 59½ with more than 28 years in the Postal Service. Our facility is consolidating, and our jobs are at stake. I am a clerk and do not want a carrier position because of my health. I plan on retiring in February to reach my 60th birthday. If I don’t accept a carrier position, can I:
1. Take an involuntary discontinued retirement; or
2. Retire and postpone my annuity until 60
I want to receive the special retirement supplement and no penalty on annuity.
Q. I am looking at retiring in September 2014 at age 57 years and five months. I will have 34 years in FERS and a little less than a year of sick leave to convert. I have $359,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan account. I am single, never married. What are my best options? I am located in an isolated area and am unable to attend any retirement seminars, especially now with the budget issues.
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 was born in 1958 and would like to retire from the federal government with 10 years of service at age 57. Would I be eligible for the special retirement supplement?
Q. If I am eligible for the special retirement supplement when I retire from federal service, must I apply for the supplement with the Social Security Administration? Or will it be automatically received as a part of my retirement package?
Q. I was collecting the special retirement supplement for over a year when a good job came open. I took it. I reported my excess earnings about being over $15,500, and they stopped my supplement. But now the job has gone away. Can I start receiving the supplement again? If so, will it start automatically? Or do I have to notify someone?
Q. I took the Postal Service Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offered in 2011, and retired at age 53. I began receiving annuity payments immediately upon retirement. I reached my minimum retirement age of 56 this month. I understand I will begin receiving the special retirement supplement beginning next month. My annuity is set up for direct deposit into my checking account. Do the supplement payments also come from the Office of Personnel Management, or do I need to do something to set those payments up to be direct deposit?
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?
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 a law enforcement officer who retired after 27 years at age 51. I am receiving the special retirement supplement, which I should receive fully until age 56 despite any additional income. I started a private-sector position immediately upon my retirement. They are taking full Social Security deductions from my pay. It seems to me that I have “topped out” on Social Security based on my service. Should I still have Social Security deducted? If so, will I receive any benefit from this when file my taxes next year?
Q. I saw the following in an article about federal retirement: “For any military veterans out there, you should note that if you are looking to draw on the special retirement supplement between the age you retire and age 62, only retirees with 30 years of civil service (not civil service and military service combined) are eligible for the supplement.”
Is this true? I will have 22 years of civilian service under FERS and eight years of military time when I retire this year. Will I be eligible for the supplement if I retire?
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?