By Reg Jones
Q. When I retire, is there a period of time I have to wait if I want to work as a contractor for the government? Is this a standard rule/law or does it vary by agency? Will working as a contractor for the government affect my retirement annuity and/or special retirement supplement?
Q. I left the Postal Service (CSRS) in 2000 with 21 years and seven months of service. I will be 56 years old next month. At what age can I draw supplemental annuity? What are the penalties for withdrawing sooner?
Q. I am retiring in February and expecting the special retirement supplement. Apparently, the federal 2014 budget canceled the supplement. Does that apply to newly hired employees or current employees? Does the language in the budget establish a cutoff date for the supplement?
Q. I am retiring at age 55. I will have 26 years of 6(c)-covered service and an additional two years of military for a total of 28 years. What is the maximum amount of special retirement supplement I can get as a military veteran?
Q. I am a FERS retired firefighter and wanted to know if and how the post-retirement earning test applies. At age 55, is my special retirement supplement dependent on how much I am making at that age? If so, once the supplement is lost, can you get it back if earnings drop prior to age 62?
Q. I am FERS-covered and will retire this year with 20 years at age 62. My annual FERS annuity is about $25,000. After retirement, I plan to work in a private company in a foreign country for an estimated annual $90,000 salary. I will roll over my Thrift Savings Plan savings to a traditional IRA. I will not withdraw my Social Security until I reach my full retirement age at 66 when I will no longer have any wages.
1. Am I allowed to draw FERS annuity while living in a foreign country?
2. How will my salary from the private company affect my FERS annuity? That is, will my FERS annuity be reduced due to an earnings income limit?
Q. I retired under the FERS disability provisions 16 years ago. I want to find out what portion of my monthly retirement benefit represents the special retirement supplement portion. At the time of my retirement, I had 16 years of creditable service. I am receiving about $1,900 per month, and I believe my calculation at age 62 would be times 1.1 percent. I will not be eligible for Social Security until age 62 and one month. Will I lose the supplement for one month?
Q. I have a few years to go but have been looking at my retirement options. I started working for the Veterans Affairs Department in 1992, then joined the Army under the Military Employment/Reemployment Rights Act in 1995. I returned to VA in January 2000. At that time, I bought back my military time.
Now I’m looking at my qualifications for the special retirement supplement. I can find numerous examples of people that were in the military prior to their federal job. It appears that the time can count for their FERS retirement, but not for the supplement.
Since my situation is a bit different, will my military time count toward the supplement? It’s never too early to plan, and those four years could make a big difference to my retirement date.
Q. I am CSRS Offset. I’ve been paying into Social Security for many years and I plan on retiring before I’m 62 years old. Once I retire, will I stop paying into Social Security? Also, will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement before I’m eligible to collect when I’m 62 years old?
Q. I am a special category employee retiring this month with 30 years of service. I will be 55 in April. My minimum retirement age is 56. I know means testing of the special retirement supplement begins when I am 56, but how, mechanically, does it work? Do I get a letter on or near my 56th birthday asking me what my earned income was during the previous year? Or do I get such a letter on or near my 57th birthday, asking the same question about the previous year (the year I turned 56)? Or does the Office of Personnel Management rely on my income tax returns to make such determinations? How long can I earn in excess of $15,450 (the threshold for means testing in 2014) before I start losing SRS money to means testing?
January 22nd, 2014 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: FERS Early retirement FEHBP HEALTH INSURANCE Minimum retirement age PAY RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement spouse benefits
Q. My husband is 66 years old and retired last year with full Social Security benefits. My daughter is receiving Social Security benefits until she graduates from high school at age 18. I was told that had my salary not exceeded the maximum amount allowed, I would also receive some benefits until my daughter turns 18.
I am 54 years old, a federal worker under FERS with 23 years of service. My office is going through a major reorganization. I understand that if I am offered an early retirement, I will have immediate annuities without the 5 percent reduction each year under 62), will have Federal Employees Health Benefits and have the special retirement supplement when I am at my minimum retirement age.
1. I assume that since I won’t have a job, I will be able to receive Social Security benefits until my daughter turns 18 and graduates from high school in June 2016. I will be at my MRA in January 2015. At my MRA, will I be able to continue receiving my Social Security benefits and the special retirement supplement simultaneously?
2. When I turn 62 and the special retirement supplement stops, should I apply for Social Security benefits from my husband’s retirement until I am at my full retirement age (66 and 10 months)? This way, I would have my own full Social Security retirement benefits without reduction. Am I correct?
Q. I’m planning to retire next year under FERS with 30 years of service and I’m eligible for the special retirement supplement. Please explain where the Social Security application process fits — i.e., at what point do I apply to Social Security? Concurrently with FERS? Must I wait for both applications to be approved before I’m considered officially retired?
Q. I am a 58-year-old Postal Service employee with 30 years of service. If I collect the special retirement supplement until age 62, does that reduce the amount of Social Security I receive at 62?
Q. I retired under a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority in January 2009. I was also approved for Social Security disability in 2008. I’ve had 22 years under FERS, and I’m now 58. Should I have been receiving the special retirement supplement since I never applied for FERS disability?
Q. I am a retired veteran (May 2000) with 24 years of military service. I am a GS-14 with 10 years of federal service at age 55. If I purchase my military time back, I will be eligible to retire at age 56 with over 35 years of creditable service. Will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement at that time until I reach age 62?
Q. I am receiving the special retirement supplement and I turn 62 on March 16. I have applied for Social Security and will receive benefits starting in April. Will I receive a supplemental annuity through March? If not, when can I expect to lose it?
Q. I am a FERS employee. If I retire at my minimum retirement age (56) and receive the special retirement supplement until age 62, am I allowed to defer collecting Social Security until my full retirement age (66 and 10 months)?
January 14th, 2014 | Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation Postal Service RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement spouse benefits Windfall elimination provision
Q. I have worked for the Postal Service for 20 years under FERS and planned on retiring next year. My husband retired several years ago from the Postal Service under CSRS. Will I be able to collect my full Social Security benefits, or will I be subject to the WEP? I have heard conflicting statements.
Q. I will have 33 years of federal service when I reach my minimum retirement age of 56. Nine of the 33 years are military buyback years. Do I meet the eligibility required for the FERS special retirement supplement between 56 and 62 years of age?
Q. As a FERS employee, when I turn 56, will my special retirement supplement be reduced based on my retirement income? Or is that only reduced based on if you work somewhere else earning wages? My understanding is that, when I retire at 56 I will get the following for my retirement:
1. Years of service percentage based on salary — for example, 30 years of service at a $100,000 salary will get $30,000 a year.
2. Annuity from Thrift Savings Plan if I decide to take annuity.
3. Special retirement supplement until I turn 62.
Do the above three count as wages that could reduce my SRS?