By Reg Jones
October 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I have career status with the federal government but have not worked with the government for quite a while. After a break of more than 25 years, do I still retain career status? I am unemployed and would like to go back to federal service. My last position was with the Veterans Administration Headquarters in Washington. Before that, I was with VA Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Engineering Department.
I started my career working in Washington for the U.S. Army AMC.
A. Yes, you’d retain your career status.
July 24th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I was on active duty from September 1999 to September 2008. I was honorably discharged with 30 percent service connected disability. I became a civil service employee in December 2010 in a permanent position. I was in this position for 18 months and then transferred to a term position. It was a permanent position but switched to term when the person in it left. I was told that I could not be brought in as permanent because I hadn’t reached ‘career status’ yet, which they stated was three years as a civil service employee. I was told that had I been ‘career status,’ it would have remained permanent. Does my active-duty time count toward ‘career status’ if I buy it back? Does the fact that I have 30 percent service-connected disability have any bearing?
A. Active-duty service cannot be used to reach career status, nor does having a service-connected disability have any effect on it. You actually have to serve the time needed to meet that criterion.
May 8th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I am considering taking a State Department full-time temporary excepted appointment NTE 13 months with no re-employment benefits. I am a career-status employee with the federal government. State requires a four-day break between my current position and beginning service with them. How does this affect my retirement benefits and my career status? Will I not be considered career status when I apply for new jobs after my temporary position comes to an end?
A. When you separate from the government, if you are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits and/or Federal Employees Group Life Insurance programs, you will receive a 31-day extension of coverage at no cost to you. You will then have the option of enrolling in a health benefits plan under the temporary continuation of coverage provision for up to 18 months. For that coverage, you’d pay the full premiums plus 2 percent. You could also elect to have private life insurance coverage, for which you’d pay the full cost.
As long as you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions when you left, you’d be eligible for a deferred annuity at either age 60 or 62, depending on your total years of service.
As a rule, if you returned to work for the government, you would be considered a career employee and would get credit for your prior service in determining your eligibility to retire and in your annuity computation.
January 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I am currently a GS career-conditional (1½ years) employee. I have 10 years of military time that I would like to buy back. If I buy back my military time, would that increase my time as a GS employee (10 years + 1½ years = 11½ years). Would that change my status from career-conditional to career status? Or would I be buying back my military time just for retirement?
A. Making a deposit for that period of active duty service would increase your years of service as a civilian employee; however, it would not change your status from career-conditional to career.
July 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I was an attorney for the Justice Department from 1998 to 2001, and then an attorney at IRS from 2001 to 2005. Then I quit the government, quit practicing law and completely changed careers. Here, five years later, I’m considering looking at federal employment again.
My questions are:
1. What exactly is career status?
2. Do I have it?
3. Does it matter?
4. Does it apply even if I’m applying for a job that has little at all to do with my former career?
June 23rd, 2010 | EMPLOYMENT
Q: I have worked for the federal government since February 2008 when I was hired as a temporary employee. In September 2009, the job converted to permanent. Is there any way to buy back my temporary time so that I could reach career status sooner?
A: No, there isn’t. You can’t make a deposit to get credit for any period of non-deduction service occurring on or after Jan. 1, 1989.