By Reg Jones
Q. My wife’s uncle (age 87 with 42 years CSRS) asked me to find out if his wife would continue receiving his retirement should he die first. His wife is under social security retirement after a career in nursing. She is 85, both have been retired for a long time. In this scenario, how would her future retirement be computed? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I’m 53 and on disability retirement under FERS. Upon reaching Social Security recipient age, will my FERS disability payment end so I’ll only receive my regular Social Security payment? Read the rest of this entry »
February 21st, 2014 | Benefits Creditable service: FERS DOWNSIZING Earnings test FERS annuity computation High-3 PAY RETIREMENT service computation date SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement VERA
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?
Q. I am a FERS federal employee and I turn 62 in March. Can I draw my Social Security at 62 (worked in industry for 27 years and have been a federal work for 15 years) and still keep working for the federal government? I would like to work until I am 66 to get a higher amount of retirement from the federal government. I realize I would have to pay taxes on the Social Security since I would be making more than what is allowed and it is considered income and I would get a reduced amount for the rest of my life by taking it at 62.
Q. My deceased husband retired from civil service by disability and received monthly payments until his death. During his working years, he paid for my spousal annuity benefit. I now receive my own Social Security account.
The problem is, there is a deceased ex-wife listed ahead of me on record. In the chance I’m able to prove her deceased status, will I qualify to receive both my Social Security and spousal annuity?
February 21st, 2014 | Benefits Creditable service: CSRS Creditable service: FERS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT FERS annuity computation High-3 Military service deposits PAY Re-employment RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY taxes Windfall elimination provision
Q. 1. How are the days of active-duty service calculated?
2. Is that a one-to-one credit added to years of service?
3. Can you buy it back after you retire and adjust the annuity accordingly?
4. Can you buy back portions of it?
5. Can you pay in installments?
6. What percentage of military pay per year would you get in retirement? For CSRS, it is roughly 2 percent based on high-3; would it be calculated on actual salary back then or adjusted for inflation?
7. Any chance for a retroactive payment once established?
8. Will I lose any benefits if I do this?
9. Can I do this if I was not in the military long enough to earn a pension?
10. How does Social Security fit into this picture?
11. Can I get all three (FERS/CSRS, Social Security, military/Defense Department) separately? What is the penalty for collecting multiple pensions if done separately?
Q. I work for the Postal Service with 35 years of service, covered under CSRS and I turned 62 in June. I have 40 quarters of work in under Social Security. Can I file to draw my Social Security benefits while I am still working full time under CSRS, since they get offset to almost nothing when I retire?
Q. I am a 2012 CSRS retiree. My wife will soon be eligible for Social Security retirement, as she is closing in on the 40 quarters benchmark. When I die, and she receives the CSRS survivor monthly benefit, will her own Social Security retirement benefit be affected by the windfall elimination provision? (Her Social Security benefit will be minimal, having just reached the 40 quarters).
Q. I am under FERS, working for the Postal Service. If I retire at age 59 and receive the special retirement supplement, will it affect my future Social Security benefit at age 62? Will not claiming any income and not paying into Social Security for three years lower my future benefit when I do collect at 62? Does the future benefit lock in when you begin collecting the supplement?
Q. I have 25 years of service with the Postal Service. I am extremely ill and have been told by my doctor that I would need to consider disability retirement. My base pay is $57,000 per year. Could you please tell me what my disability retirement will be?
Q. I am 61 years old and have been retired from the fire service. I have, according to Social Security, 39 units which were not earned at fire service. If correct, I need one unit to earn Social Security at age 62, and I need this unit also to be eligible for Medicare at age 65? Is there any other way to get this one quarter other than going to get a job for three months?
Q. I will be 52 years old March 9. I am covered under FERS, and I have 31 years of federal service. If my base offers an early-out this year, I plan to take it.
I have a substantial balance in the Thrift Savings Plan and would like to withdraw it in its entirety when I take the early-out so I can invest it in my daughter’s business.
1. Will I be penalized for withdrawing my TSP funds early? If so, how much? I know I will be taxed, and I am OK with that. My husband plans to keep working. He is a GS-12, retired military and we have no bills, so we will be fine.
2. I know I cannot draw Social Security, and I don’t plan to do so until I reach the required age. In the meantime, will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement if I retire now? If not, at what age will I be eligible, if at all?
Q. I applied and was just approved for disability retirement, and I am waiting for them to determine my final benefits. I have received a check for back pay for $4,677.44 for six months from the day I retired. I understand they take 100 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance out the first year, but I did not receive SSDI payments during that period of back pay. I did not receive my first SSDI payment until Feb. 11. I have been off work due to illness since March 2013 and retired July 2013. I read that back pay starts from the last payday and was told by a benefits counselor that it starts from the day you retire. What is the correct answer?
Q. Will the Social Security office recalculate the amount I am getting monthly from Social Security?
I worked 10 years and earned 40 quarters to qualify for Social Security after I retired under CSRS. I feel that I should be getting more than the $140 I receive from Social Security every month. How do I request a recalculation of the amount I receive presently from Social Security?
I retired under the CSRS in March 1994 with 28 years of federal service. I was age 47 at the time and I took an early retirement because of base realignment and closure. I did not buy back my time I served in the Army from 1965 to 1968.
February 13th, 2014 | Benefits COLA Creditable service: CSRS Government pension offset PAY RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY spouse benefits substantial earnings SURVIVOR BENEFITS taxes Windfall elimination provision
Q. My husband is a retired federal employee receiving a CSRS pension. I have been paying Social Security taxes based on my own employment earnings since before we were married.
1. As the wife of a federal employee who is receiving a federal pension, will I receive my full Social Security benefit when I reach retirement age?
2. If I outlive my husband, how much of his federal pension would I receive, and would I also continue to receive my full Social Security?
3. Will he receive Social Security benefits based on employment earnings in nonfederal jobs he held prior to and after his federal employment?
4. If, as a retired federal employee, he will never be eligible for Social Security benefits, should he be paying Social Security taxes — which he has in the past and is doing in nonfederal jobs?
Q. I will be 70 years old in October 2015. I understand if I wait to collect Social Security benefits until that time, my monthly benefit will approximate $3,030. As of August 2010, I started working for the federal government as a GS-13. I plan on retiring under FERS in September 2015, at which time I will have completed 60 months of continuous civilian service. I understand that my monthly FERS annuity will approximate $500. Is there any offset to either Social Security or FERS monthly annuity benefits based on receiving both of these benefits simultaneously?
Assuming continuation of excellent health, I will likely also have additional income at that time. Should I anticipate restrictions on the amount of active or passive additional income that I can earn or any offset to either social security or FERS annuity?
A second question involves health benefits after retirement. I understand that after completing 60 months of civilian service, I can retain current Blue Cross/Blue Shield health benefits with the exception that I must pay both the employee and employer premiums myself. The real benefit is having access to this coverage under group rate available to the government.
Where would I look to find comparative benefit information for Blue Cross/Blue Shield after retirement with those typical benefits through Medicare and those benefits through the Affordable Care Act?
Q. I received notice that as of this month, Medicare will be deducting about $104 a month from my Social Security. My wife is 55 and employed. I am on her coverage. Must I have Medicare now if I am covered by my wife’s plan for another 10 years?
February 10th, 2014 | annuity reduction Benefits Creditable service: CSRS CSRS annuity computation EMPLOYMENT Military service deposits part-time PAY RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY Windfall elimination provision
Q. I served three years on active duty from 1966 to 1969. I was hired as a federal employee in 1970. I retired in 2009 at age 61 and not eligible at that time for any Social Security benefits. I did not buy back my military service because of the provision under section 22A5.1-3G of the CSRS/FERS Handbook, where it states that “employees who retired prior to age 62; and are not eligible for Social Security at age 62; continue to receive credit for the post-1956 military service even if they become entitled to Social Security at a later date and the military deposit was not made.”
Because of some part-time work I have been doing over the past four years, I am now eligible for Social Security benefits. If I apply for such benefits, will it affect my CSRS annuity? I understand that the windfall elimination provision will apply to me.
Q. I am having half of my Social Security benefit reduced because I have a CSRS retirement and I earned enough Social Security credits separately for a Social Security benefit because of Army Reserve service.
Will the amount of my Social Security benefit be reduced because of the windfall elimination provision? Will it can count on my IRS Form 1040 as taxes paid or a deduction?
Q. I am 64 years old with 28 years in the post office, all FERS. I would like to retire in March. How long will it take for my Social Security checks, my Thrift Savings Plan account and my Postal Service pension checks to begin? I would like to continue my current health plan and apply for Medicare ASAP. I would also like to keep my current life insurance plans.