By Reg Jones
Q. I retired from the Postal Service on Jan. 31. I will reach my minimum retirement age next year. I am also a widow. Will my special retirement supplement be based on my deceased husband’s Social Security? I will not be drawing off of mine.
Q. I turned 66 on Aug. 25 and draw Social Security. Is there an earning limit at this age?
Q. I plan on retiring in 1½ years with 25 years as a federal law enforcement officer. I will be 48 and will receive the full special retirement supplement until I reach my minimum retirement age, which is 56 years and four months. After that, will my annuity affect the SRS? If so, how? In other words, will my annuity be calculated as earnings when it comes to the SRS?
Q. I am a 49-year-old, 27-year employee postmaster who is a FERS employee and is in the process of completing disability paperwork and Social Security disability paperwork. There is also a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offer out there that I need to make a decision on by Nov. 29. If I take the VERA and I’m approved for my disability retirement by the Office of Personnel Management, can I change my retirement to the disability retirement? Also, if I take the VERA, can I still qualify for disability Social Security benefits?
October 7th, 2013 | Benefits Creditable service: FERS DOWNSIZING EMPLOYMENT Minimum retirement age Postal Service RETIREMENT SOCIAL SECURITY Special retirement supplement spouse benefits SURVIVOR BENEFITS VERA
Q. I took the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority on Jan. 31 at my minimum retirement age. I had 26 years at the Postal Service under FERS. After 16 years of marriage, I became a widow. The only income I have is my annuity and the special retirement supplement from the Office of Personnel Management. Will I be eligible to receive Social Security benefits from husband at 60, and will they end at 62? When I turn 62, my supplement will end. I have $190,000 in the L2020 fund. Would it be beneficial to me to start receiving money from my Thrift Savings Plan at 62 and delay Social Security until full retirement at 66 years and four months. A financial adviser told me to roll over my money into an IRA when I turn 59½. Is that a good idea, or should I keep it in the TSP? Would you recommend the G Fund, since I don’t have money to lose?
Q. I will turn 66 in January and, based on my birth year (1948), I am eligible to draw Social Security at the full rate. If I choose to do so, am I still allowed to continue with my current civil service employment until I choose to retire?
Q. I am a FERS employee planning to retire in 20 months at age 60 with 28 years of service. I understand that I will be entitled to the special retirement supplement which is based on the amount of Social Security money I would be receiving at age 62 divided by 40 and then multiplied by 28. I also understand the supplement check will be coming from the Office of Personnel Management. Once I turn 62, would my Social Security check, now coming from Social Security, be the total amount I would be entitled to at age 62? Or would it stay frozen at whatever amount I start collecting at age 60?
Q. If I retire at 56½ with 30 years of service and draw $4,000 a month from FERS, will it reduce my special retirement supplement or Social Security payment at age 62? In other words, since it is over the Social Security limit, does it count as income, or is it treated separately?
Q. My wife receives Social Security benefits under my contributions and from hers. She is not a federal retiree, but a retired teacher who had 20 calendar months uncovered, which was credited by the teachers’ pension as eight school months. The government pension offset was applied against her whole Social Security benefit. Does the GPO get applied in this manner, or should it be similar to the windfall elimination provision, which goes against only the portion of pension dependent upon the uncovered months?
Q. My spouse is eligible for CSRS survivor benefits. Upon my death, would her CSRS survivor benefit be affected in any way from Social Security benefits, and vice versa, that she will receive from her nonfederal employment?
Q. Can you draw both workers’ comp and Social Security disability? I am a FERS employee who was put on Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs rolls because no work is available to me due to my work restrictions. Is there a penalty during both? Is either one taxable? Or am I forced to drop workers’ comp? And how does this affect me with my Veterans Affairs Department disabilities?
Q. I am 73 years old and working with veterans benefits. My health and medical issues are forcing me to investigate potential retirement options. I have four years of civilian federal service under FERS and also have four years of military service. I draw nondisability Social Security. What retirement options do I have available?
Q. I have completed 24 years of federal service with a law enforcement provision (Bureau of Prisons), and two years of federal service prior to that with no special provision. Six months ago, I left the BOP and transferred to another agency, non-law enforcement. I believe that my annuity (FERS) will be calculated at 20 years law enforcement, the four years remaining BOP time as regular, and another two years whatever else I work in the new agency as regular. Since I am no longer in a law enforcement capacity, will my status change for the special retirement supplement? I’m primarily concerned about the proposed legislation to abolish the supplement.
Q. I am considering applying for a FERS disability retirement. I understand the percentages of pay and applying for Social Security disability if Social Security approves disability also. If you file for FERS disability retirement, you must at the same time file for Social Security disability benefits. If you do not, the Office of Personnel Management will not process your application. Based on this statement, is it true that OPM could approve, however Social Security may not approve, as they have different standards? What happens if Social Security does not approve. Will I continue to get the unreduced monthly annuity from OPM?
Q. I am an attorney for the government under FERS. I plan to retire in 2014 with 30 years of service at age 58. My high-3 is $150,000 a year. When I ran the numbers through the FERS calculator, it stated that my special retirement supplement would only be $108 a month. My only income will be my FERS annuity, and I plan to buy the Thrift Savings Plan annuity. Is this correct? I thought my SRS would be around $1,200 a month. My Social Security Administration statement states that age 62, my Social Security benefit will be approximately $1,800 a month.
Q. I recently returned to the federal government, and have 21 months in my current return. My total federal service will be 22 years in October. I had an on-the-job injury while with the Postal Service, and this injury has gotten worse since a car accident and surgery (I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs). I do not know how much longer I can work (pain, medication, etc). Am I qualified for disability retirement with medical benefits, even though my current return to federal service is less than five years?
Q. Now that I’ve reached age 62, the Office of Personnel Management has informed me that my CSRS Offset goes into effect. Fine. I’ve received a number of written indications of what my pension’s reduced amount will be and that amount received on Sept. 3. Now how and when does the Social Security amount get added? I’ve not heard one word about that.
In June, I started calling. The Social Security Administration said I had to apply for it. The OPM agent said it was automatic after they figured out the offset amount, but nothing from OPM suggests that they give a hoot about the SS amount of my pension.
I’m totally confused. No retirement seminar I took prior to retirement ever mentioned how this was to transpire, and I never thought to ask the question until now.
Q. I am a 59-year-old who retired from the federal government in 2011 after 25 years of service. I entered on duty at age 32 and retired under FERS Special.
I received a notice from the Office of Personnel Management that my supplemental annuity will now be decreased since I earned more than $14,500 last year. Someone told me that this shouldn’t be reduced since I’m not yet age 62. Which is correct?
Q. I retired Dec. 31, 2011, at 58½ with 30 years and five months of federal service with the Defense Department. I am receiving a monthly special retirement supplement of $915 after taxes. I realize this will cease when I turn 62, and I will have to file for Social Security. Will I then receive this same amount from Social Security, or will it be my normal expected amount for age 62 (somewhere around $1,400, I believe)?
Q. I know there is a government pension offset when receiving FERS disability retirement and Social Security disability benefits, but is there an offset when receiving regular federal retirement benefits and SSD benefits?