Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

NAF employment and federal rehire

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Q. I was a nonappropriated funds government employee from 1979 to 1990 holding UA7, UA8 and UA9 positions (AAFES and Army NAF). I resigned in 1990 and have worked in the private sector since.

Now I plan to return to federal government employment as a GS5 or GS7.

How will my service time count toward retirement, and is it possible to repay my NAF pension funds into the system? Also, how will my accrued sick leave be handled?

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NAF credit

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Q. Can my NAF time be creditable toward my service computation date if I had a break in service longer than a year?

A. No.

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MRA+10 and penalties

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 Q. I am being involuntarily separated from Nonappropriated Fund service due to my position being abolished. I retained Federal Employees Retirement Service when I became an NAF employee. I am 55 years old with more than 10 years of creditable service and will be Minimum Retirement Age+10 eligible when I turn 56. Will I be penalized 5 percent for every year under the age of 62 if I apply for MRA+10 retirement? My retirement will be a result of being involuntarily separated. Will I be eligible for any Social Security benefits?

 A. If you are separated before you reach your MRA, you would only be eligible for a deferred retirement when you reach age 62. If your separation is delayed until you reach your MRA, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62, unless you delayed the receipt of your annuity to a later date to reduce or eliminate the age penalty. In neither case would you be eligible for the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. The earliest you would be eligible for a Social Security benefit is when you reach age 62.

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Credit for NAF time

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Q: Can my time as a nonappropriated fund employee be used toward retirement now that I work in a GS position? I worked twice as a NAF employee with a break in service, and I have been trying to get credit for that time. I received an e-mail today saying that because there was a service break of more than three days, my time will not count.

A: Your agency is correct. Your NAF time isn’t creditable if you had a break in service of more than three calendar days.

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FEHB re-enrollment

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Q: I may be transitioning to nonappropriated-funds employment. I would be keeping my Federal Employees Retirement System status. There is no provision for me to stay enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program while I am a NAF employee. When I retire (under FERS), can I re-enroll in FEHB and have the premiums deducted from my pension? This is a make-or-break issue for me.

A: No, you won’t be able to re-enroll.

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