By Reg Jones
June 11th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a retired soldier with 21 years of service being paid my retirement. I am also a GS FERS employee with 13 years of service. I am 56 and would like to retire in about two years. I have asked for my calculation to see if I should buy back my service time. I assume that if I buy back my time, my military retirement stops immediately. I used your calculator to check my FERS retirement and believe I got the right number for just the 13 years. If I retire under the MRA+10 provision, will I basically get my current military retirement pay plus the 13 years of civil service calculations together, or do you use a different formula? I also assume even if I buy time back, I will retain my military benefits. Should I immediately buy back the time or wait until I’m closer to retiring?
June 4th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. How much will my retirement be when I turn 62?
I rotated back to the states after more than 22 years of federal service. I was effectively terminated from my position due to the five-year rule in Europe. I was under CSRS.
I will not turn 62 for five years, but I would like to know how to get information regarding my CSRS account status.
Q. I am 55 with 36 years of federal employment, including two one-year breaks in service. The last break was in 1985. I withdrew the funds I had paid into CSRS each time I broke service and have repaid a minimal amount of it. I thought I would be one of those people who worked forever; however, I have a progressively degenerative medical condition and likely will not be able to work more than another year at the most. I am totally ignorant about retirement and to what benefits I am entitled. For example, will my pension benefits be reduced because I am retiring early? Do I continue to pay the same health insurance rates once I retire until I become eligible for Medicare? Will my health benefits remain the same until I become eligible for Medicare? I used the pension calculator and am more confused. For example, I calculated using the percentage for the first five years and the different percentage for the next five years, and then the 2 percent for the remaining years past 10. Is this the amount plus interest, plus matching funds what I pay into CSRS from my paycheck, or do I have to do yet other calculations? I have requested a meeting with my HR department, but it has to wait until it receives information for payroll and tells me it will be weeks before I can get a meeting. My neurosurgeon and neurologist are telling me I should consider retiring immediately, but I need to make this major decision as knowledgeably as possible.
Q. I’m 44 with 16 years in a covered federal law enforcement position plus three military years (which I haven’t bought back yet). How soon can I retire? When I reach 20 years in service, I’ll be only 48, or do I have to wait to reach 50? Could I retire then, and if so, what would I be leaving on the table?
Q. As a WG/WL shift worker who change days off every four weeks and works Sunday premium days and all holidays, can I count on these extras in my retirement pot? I am almost certain that overtime and bonuses are not included. I have looked in 2012/2011 almanac for the answer. To me, the almanac is geared toward the GS side of the family. I am planning on retiring soon after 41 years. From what I can see, my high-3 is based on straight M-F day shift base pay.
Q. I started working for the federal government March 10, 1975. If I retire Dec. 31, 2015, by my calculations, I will have 40 years, nine months and 21 days.
Right now I have 1,142 hours of sick leave but have no idea how many I will have when I retire. Will any of that be counted toward year and months of service? I’m only a GS 7, step 10, so I need to know what percentage of my retirement pay I would get. My high-3 is more than $50,400 with locality pay. I understood that where you are living and getting locality pay would be figured toward the annuity. If they change our retirement to the high-5, in two years I will still be at the same salary.
Q. I worked for the Department of Defense as a civilian physician for 16 years and then transferred to the Veterans Health Administration. I understand physician comparability allowance is part of basic pay for retirement for VHA. So, if I worked for the VHA for two years and then retired because I am at minimum retirement age plus 10, how would my annuity be calculated?
Q. I’m going to be doing charity work for several months in 2014. I’m considering requesting a leave of absence for it (I understand such leaves are at the discretion of management). If I’m not granted the LOA and I resign, how will a few months (seven to eight total) affect my retirement? I plan to rejoin federal service after the charity event. I’ve consulted my local HR department and OPM, but I’ve received conflicting information.
If I’m granted the LOA, is my high-3 affected by such an absence? Then, assuming I’m not granted the LOA and I resign, can I rejoin federal service with the high-3 intact? Lastly, do I lose my high-3 if I withdraw funds from TSP just before the LOA or resignation? That is the big one for me — some people tell me if I touch my TSP, I lose my high-3.
Q. I am on disability retirement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I have 13 years of service and fall in the MRA bracket born in 1953-1964. When will my annuity be recalculated? Will my annuity be more than what I am receiving on disability?
Q. I retired from the military after 22 years of active duty and receive a VA pension and 10 percent disability pension. Since then, I have been in the federal government for 10 years, and I hope to retire at 20 years and 62 years old. What will my retirement look like?
Q. I am a federal worker at a VA hospital. I am a General Schedule employee under CSRS. I switched to night shift and work lots of weekends to boost my last three years of earnings. I read in OPM under CSRS/retirement/High-3 Average Salary, “Your basic pay is the basic salary you earn for your position. It includes increases to your salary for which retirement deductions are withheld, such as shift rates. It does not include payments for overtime, bonuses, etc.”
I still am not sure if night shift will work out to a bigger retirement annuity. I make plenty more in my night differential pay for night tour. What I noticed is retirement deductions in my Pay Statements remained the same as before when I worked the day shift. This is puzzling.
Q. How is my annuity reduced after working full time for seven years, part time for 10 years and then full time for an additional 13 years? Is it still the high-3, or is there a reduction because of less money contributed for those 10 part-time years?
Q. I am a FERS GS-11 step 10 employee planning to retire at 66 with 25 years of federal service in 2016. Pensions are based on the high-3. Is the high-3 based on base pay for the grade and step or base plus locality percentage? The 2012 GS Base table shows 11 step 10 as $65,371. Base plus locality equals $77,138, or an addition of 14.16 percent or $11,767 over base.
There is a large difference when calculating retirement figures using $65,371 versus $77,137.
Q. I retired from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 3, 2007, after working there for 33½ years plus 1½ years of credit for accumulated sick leave. I elected to provide full survivor’s benefits to my wife.
Can I determine what my annuity would have been had I not elected to provide full survivor’s benefits to my wife? I know this information was provided to me before I decided to retire, but I cannot locate those documents.
Q. I am a legacy U.S. Customs officer. When we switched over to law enforcement officer status, we were told we would be grandfathered in and therefore our retirement computation would go like this: high-3 x 10 years x 1 percent plus high-3 x 6 years x 1.7 percent. Is that true? Someone said I would have to work 20 years in a law enforcement position to get the enhanced 1.7 percent computation. I thought that was for those hired under the 1.7 percent enhanced retirement.
Q. I’m a 46-year-old FERS employee. I’m accepting a temporary reassignment to an “acting” role at a higher grade (15). Will this count toward my high-3?
Q. What are the benefits of buying military service time toward civil service? I have 14 years of military service and two years of civil service and am trying to figure out if it is beneficial to buy military time or not. What is the best way to figure this out?
Q. I am an FERS GS with four years until I get my 20 under 6(c) law enforcement officer and a year and half after that until mandatory retirement. I have been offered a 6(c) job overseas — how is the high-3 calculated? Is it on the base level GS schedule (plus LEAP) I actually earn, or is it based on a modified amount of what I would have earned in DC — which is how the overseas postings on Foreign Service retirement seems to work? I am pretty sure all the COLA, post allowances and danger pays don’t calculate in either total.
If it is the lower amount basic GS schedule, my high-3 would instead be these last three years — but I was mobilized to military duty for the first of those. How is that year I was on LWOP-US calculated into the total?
Q. In calculating a retiree’s high-3, do personnel consider the pay rate I should be receiving or the pay rate I am actually receiving? Under this pay freeze, I am a FS-01 Step 5, but I am being paid at the FS-01 Step 3 level. If I retired this year, would my annuity be calculated using the pay I should be receiving (at the Step 5 level) or usingthe pay I’m actually receiving (at the Step 3 level)? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I am a Defense Department employee with 39 years of service under CSRS.
How will sequestration, specifically the potential for 20 percent reduction in pay, affect calculation of my high-3? Will it be based on my salary per the GS tables or actual pay? If it is on actual pay, it seems as though it would be better for me to retire now rather than later.