By Reg Jones
December 29th, 2011 | Uncategorized
Q. I will be age 56 on Feb. 15 with 22 years FERS time and nine years, 11 months active-duty military time (deposit paid); 31 years total. I also retired from the Navy Reserve and looking forward to a pension at 60. I would like to retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System at the end of 2012.
1. Will the nine years, 11 months be used to calculate my special retirement supplement? If no, why not?
2. Will the nine years, 11 months affect my social security benefits at age 62; if so, how and where can I find more information?
3. Will the nine years, 11 months affect my military retirement pension? If so, why and how?
4. Why is all this pertinent information not disclosed by personnel offices upon hiring so that employees can make better decisions about retirement earlier?
5. How long does it take the Office of Personnel Management to adjudicate my annuity?
6. Would it be more beneficial for me to withdraw my service deposit for the active-duty time and work another nine years and forget the confusion?
A. 1. No. By law, the special retirement supplement is based solely on actual years of service as a FERS employee.
2. All years of employment where Social Security deductions were taken from your pay will be included in determining the amount of your Social Security benefit.
3. The fact that you have made a deposit for your active-duty time won’t have any effect on your reserve retired pay.
4. Some agency personnel offices do a good job of providing the information that employees need; other don’t. Apparently yours is one of the latter.
5. I don’t know how long it will take. Not surprisingly, it varies.
6. You don’t really have a choice. Having made the deposit, the only way you could get a refund is if you resigned from the government before being eligible to retire and withdrew both your deposit and your retirement contributions.
April 15th, 2011 | RETIREMENT
Q: I am trying to determine if it’s worth buying back my military time. I retired from the Army in October 2009 with about 14 years active-duty and 17 years reserve service, including two mobilizations for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I also receive a Veterans Affairs Department disability check after my last deployment. I should begin receiving my military retired pay in April 2016 based on the “90 days for 90 days” rule for being mobilized after 2008. I work for the Veterans Health Administration. I was hired in November 2010, and I have no other federal service. What benefit would it be for me to buy back my military retirement?
A: If you made a deposit for you period(s) of active-duty service, that time would be included in determining your length of service and in your annuity computation when you retire. Making a deposit wouldn’t affect your eligibility to receive your reserve retired pay.
January 28th, 2011 | Uncategorized
Q: I have been on active-duty orders for the West Virginia National Guard since Nov. 8, 2009, in order to support the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) and the Critical Infrastructure Protection-Mission Assessments (CIP-MAAs). This executive order is the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) – 7. I am not in direct support of OEF, however, we provide domestic security duty. Can this period of time be credited toward my federal law enforcement career, which is now on hold?
A: It will depend on the nature of the orders that led to your being called to active duty. You’ll need to share that information with your civilian agency, which can check with OPM to determine if it qualifies. If it does, your time on active duty will be fully creditable toward your federal law enforcement career once you return to your civilian job.
Q: If I buy back my active-duty military time to put it toward my Federal Employees Retirement System retirement, do I then lose that time toward my Navy Reserve retirement?
A: No. Making a deposit for your period(s) of active-duty service will have no affect on reserve retired pay. You’ll get full credit for that time.
July 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I retired from active duty military as of Sept. 25, 1993, and entered the Defense Department federal civil service Jan. 10, 1994. As of Jan. 10, 2011, I will have 17 years in federal civil service and will be 59 years old. My high-3 grade is GS-11. Is there any way I could buy back my military time, 20 years, to add to my federal civil service time to gain 20 years? For 17 years of civil service time, what would the percentage of retirement pay be? I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System.
A: If you make a deposit for your active duty service, it won’t count toward the 20 years of covered service needed to retire under the special provision for firefighters. Further, in order to get any credit for that time, you would have to waive your military retired pay when you retire from your civilian job. Assuming that you completed 20 years of covered firefighter service, your annuity would be calculated using this formula: 0.017 x your high-3 x 20 years. The active duty time for which you made a deposit and waived your retired pay would be calculated using the standard formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x the years of service for which you made a deposit. If you didn’t retire as a firefighter, all your service – actual and deposit with waiver – would be computed using the standard 0.01 multiplier.
July 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I’m trying to understand the military buy back system. I served in the military from November 1981 to May 1999. I finished just short of retirement but separated with an honorable discharge. I’m now a Defense Department civilian and currently buying back my military years. Right now all my years count toward federal retirement. Once I’m done buying back my military service, will I be eligible for military retirement and a retirement I.D. card? Will my years of government service be split (i.e. 20 years credit for military retirement and the others toward federal retirement)?
A: When you complete your deposit, all those years of active duty service will be added to your civilian service and used in determining your eligibility to retire from your civilian job and in your annuity computation. If you are eligible for military retirement, those years of service wouldn’t be divided up. All your years of service would be included when computing your military retired pay. Since we deal exclusively with civilian personnel matters, you’ll have to check with your branch of service to find out if you would be eligible to retire from the military.
June 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I am currently a 52-year-old Department of Defense Education Activity employee with 23 years in the Army National Guard (six years active). Can I buy my six years of active duty time if I will be receiving a reserve pension when I am age 60?
A: Yes, you can.