Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Social Security earnings

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Q. I am 62 and would like to retire and receive my social security. What is the most I can earn per week without my benefit being cut?  Read the rest of this entry »

Minimum retirement age

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Q. I been a federal employee of 17 years now. I started my career at the age of 24 . At what age can I retired in order to receive my federal pension? Read the rest of this entry »

VSIP Amount Calculation

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Q. I received $19,100.00 severance pay in a RIF in 1996. In 2000 I was re-employed by the Federal Government. I am now considering a VSIP. What amount can I expect? I am 72 years old with 20 years of service. Read the rest of this entry »

SCD Calculation

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Q. I was in the Kentucky National Guard for 7 years and was honorably discharged in 1976. During that time I attended basic training at Ft. Bragg and advanced training at Ft. Eustis from December 29, 1968 and June 23, 1970. I am currently in the FAA as a federal employee and I am near retirement.

Does this time in the Kentucky National Guard training for almost 6 months count toward my SCD calculation? Will I need to “buy back” the time? Read the rest of this entry »

Benefits after retiring from active employment

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Q. When you stop working and start receiving pension benefits I know Federal taxes can be withheld, but I am not sure if Medicare and Social Security are still deducted. Are they?  Read the rest of this entry »

Lump sum for unused annual leave

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Q. How soon would I receive my lump sum payment for unused annual leave when I retire?

A. Only your agency payroll office can answer that question.

VERA/VSIP

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Q. Will a VERA/VSIP be offered in 2014?

A. If you are asking if they would be offered somewhere in the U.S. and its territories, the answer is yes. If you are asking if they will be offered where you work – and to you – I have no idea.

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Military Buyback and Pay Increases

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Q. I will be separating from the military in September 2014 with 11 years, six months service. I am looking to get a federal GS job where I can buy back my military time. I know this goes toward the pension plan, but does it also count anything toward GS within-grade pay increase? Read the rest of this entry »

Best retirement date

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Q. I am in the FERS system and plan to retire Jan. 9, unless Dec. 28 would be a better date? I will have a large lump-sum leave payment and want to maximize any possible salary increases (i.e. 1 percent) that might be applied to the lump sum in 2015 without losing my maximum carry-over hours. I am willing to start my annuity the following month.

A. You’ve touched all the bases in your analysis. Since you are willing to forgo an annuity in the month you retire, you’ve already answered your question: Jan. 9 is the date that best fits your goals.

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Work after retirement

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Q. I am 62 and would like to retire and receive my Social Security. What is the most I can earn per week without my benefit being cut?

A. In 2014 the earnings limit is $15,480. Your Social Security benefit would be reduced by $2 for every $3 you earn above that limit.

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FERS retirement

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Q. I have 13 years as a federal worker under FERS at GS 10. I left federal service at age 48. Am eligible to collect any type of federal retirement and how does age play a role? Read the rest of this entry »

Military buyback and re-enlisting

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Q. I have 13 years in the Air Force, all of which were on Active Duty. I separated honorably and bought back my time and now work for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (FERS). I currently have 27 years of creditable service. If I were to re-enlist into the Air Force Reserves, would I be able to collect my military retirement after a 7-year enlistment completing 20 years of total military service, even though I bought back my 13 years of active duty time? Read the rest of this entry »

Sick leave into annual leave

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Q. I am a FERS employee with 32 years of service credit. I’m planning to retire on 6/30/14. I’m going to have around 480 hours of sick leave when I retire. Since you only get credit for a full month, I will lose around 130 hours. My HR person told me that I could get supervisor approval to change my sick leave to annual leave, not exceeding a total equal to the annual leave that I have on the books. I had never heard of that so I asked for specifics, which she couldn’t provide. Is it possible to convert sick leave to annual leave? If so, how do you do it? Read the rest of this entry »

Service credit and sick leave

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Q. I am a FERS employee with 32 years of service credit. I was in CSRS for 5 years, 10 months and 28 days. I left the government but came back 3 years later as a FERS employee. When I retire I will have 28 days of CSRS service credit and 25 days of FERS Service Credit. Will 7 days of my excess sick leave (56 hours) be applied to my remaining days of 23 to give me an extra month toward retirement?

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Security benefits

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Q. I am 61, working for postal service for 30 years and plan to retire in two years. When I start receiving social security benefits, will the income be taxable? Read the rest of this entry »

FERS annuity supplement

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Q. Am I eligible to receive the FERS annuity supplement at age 60? I resigned federal service at age 52 with more than 20 years of service. Would this FERS annuity supplement apply to my situation or only to current employees? Read the rest of this entry »

FERS retirement

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Q. I have two years of temporary services. What are the pros and cons of buying back the temporary time?
I am approaching my 27th year of government services in June. Under FERS, at what age can I retire and get my TSP monies without being penalized? Read the rest of this entry »

FEHB program coverage

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Q. I was a Miltec for the army and I took a postponed retirement in 2008. Up to that point I had medical coverage under the FEHB program for five years. I have reentered Miltec status and have medical coverage, but will retire before I have five years of medical coverage for this period of service. Will I still have medical coverage after retirement or will I lose it because I didn’t have medical coverage for this period of service for 5 consecutive years? Read the rest of this entry »

Military buyback/FERS annuity

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Q. I will be 59 in July 2014. My SCD is 9/1/78. I have 13 years active duty military time that I bought back and 23 years Federal Civil Service time for a total of 36.9 years. If I retire at 59.5 in January 2015, would I be eligible for the FERS supplement based on Active duty and Federal Civil Service time, or should I wait until age 60 and I will have 23.6 years FERS time? I am completely confused about what to do and I am being told different things by my Personnel Office. Read the rest of this entry »

Within grade pay increase

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Q. I will separate from the military in September with 11 years, 6 months of service. I am looking to get a federal GS job where I can buy back my military time. I know this goes toward the pension plan, but does it also count anything toward GS within-grade pay increase?

A. As a non-retired former member of the military, your active-duty service will be used to establish your service computation date and, thus, your annual leave accrual category. It doesn’t count toward the step at which you are hired. However, if you have special skills that would make you highly desirable, you can try negotiating for a higher entry step with the agency that is considering hiring you.

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