By Reg Jones
March 30th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I’m currently employed as a U.S. Probation Officer for the federal judiciary. I recently volunteered to relocate to another office within the same agency/district. My new office (New Bern, NC) has a lower cost-of-living adjustment than my previous office (Raleigh, NC). Due to short notice, I was unable to sell my home in Raleigh prior to moving to New Bern. As a result, I continue to pay a mortgage and properties taxes at my previous duty station, Raleigh. The federal judiciary did not authorize any relocation expenses. However, I’m looking for literature governing COLA disbursements for situations similar to mine. Specifically, although relocation expenses were not authorized by my agency, am I entitled to maintain my COLA in Raleigh until my house sells in Raleigh?
March 30th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am retired and receiving a CSRS pension. If I move to another country and become a citizen of that country, will I still receive my CSRS retirement?
March 29th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I’m considering resigning from federal service because I’ve been unable to find a federal job at my husband’s new job location across the country. I have career status with 18 years of total federal service, six of which was bought back military time. I was born in 1959, so my minimum retirement age is 56; I’m 53 now. If I resign now with the intention of taking a deferred annuity when I reach 62, do I do anything in the process of separating that might affect my ability to return to the federal workforce? It’s my understanding that I don’t apply for the deferred retirement until I’m ready to receive it.
December 20th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a 50-year-old FERS Postal Service employee with 25 years in. If my processing plant closes, am I offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority at that point? Can I retire instead of relocating?
A. Whether or not a VERA is offered, if you receive a reduction-if-force notice, you could retire on an immediate annuity. That’s because an employee with 25 years of service who is facing involuntary separation can retire at any age.
August 16th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. My organization, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, is in the process of going through a reduction in force. My organization headquarters is at Fort Detrick, Md. My SPT division is Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and my duty station is at Sierra Army Depot, Calif. At the town hall meeting, they mentioned umbrellas. What are they talking about? And how can this affect a bump and retreat?
2.) I’m categorized as 1AD (tenure group 1 with 30 percent Veterans Affairs Department disability). If my position is affected, can I bump into another position outside of my duty station but within the organization?
3.) I have a tentative job offer with another organization within the government (waiting on a start date), will/could my relocation be paid by my current organization? And if so, would I have to wait and go through the RIF to be entitled to the relocation payment?
4.) If a civilian’s conditional status (tenure 2) turns to permanent status (tenure 1) on Sept. 8, and the RIF notices went out July 20 for the RIF to take place by Sept. 20, is the civilian tenure group a 1 or 2 for the RIF?
A. You can get the answers to some of your questions by going to www.opm.gov/reduction_in_force and clicking on the word GUIDANCE.
Others can only be answered by your agency. As for the word umbrella, I’ve never heard it used in the context of a RIF. You’ll have to ask the person who used it.
June 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I was affected by base realignment and closure in 1995. My agency moved from Kettering, Ohio, to Columbus, more than 90 miles each way. Married with a child in school, I was not able to relocate. Incidentally, I was also on workers’ compensation at the time. I resigned due to work offered outside my commuting area but received workers’ comp for the next 13 years. In March 2009, I gained employment at another government agency (we moved to another state). The new agency doesn’t want to give me my full tenure toward retirement. It was always my belief that if an individual is receiving workers’ comp, he is still considered an employee who is treated as if he has never left his agency. I originally joined the federal government in December 1975. If my seniority continued, I would now have 37 years. But the agency I work for has recomputed my seniority to be October 1988. Am I entitled to my 1975 seniority date?
A. No, you aren’t. The period of time between when you resigned from the government and when you returned to work can’t be included when determining your years of creditable service.
May 23rd, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. At the age of 56 (born 1958), I will have 27 years of service, but the agency is moving to another location and I would like to retire at that time. Would I be eligible to receive FERS with 27 years at a reduced rate? If eligible, would I also receive the supplemental until Social Security starts at 62?
A. If you receive an official notice of separation and aren’t offered an equivalent position within your commuting area, you’d be eligible for early retirement. As such, you’d receive an immediate annuity based on the standard formula (0.01 x high-3 x years and full months of service) and, since you’ve already reached your minimum retirement age, the special retirement supplement.
May 9th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I am considering retiring under the FERS minimum retirement age plus-10 rule a month or so after my 60th birthday this year. We have also been considering relocating to Alabama from Chicago, where I work at a VA medical center. Does it make any financial annuity difference whether or not I retire while still living in Chicago, or if I wait until we relocate (or I transfer employment) to Alabama? I know part of my current salary is based upon my physical location, but I don’t understand how that part of my salary affects the final calculations?
A. Your annuity will be based on your highest three consecutive years (36 months) of average basic salary, which includes locality pay. Therefore, your annuity would be increased if you transferred to a locality where the pay was higher or reduced if you moved to one that was lower. The actual effect on your annuity would depend on how long you lived in the new area before retiring.
April 9th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I retired under CSRS in Washington state in 2011. Washington has no state income tax. If I decide to move to another state that does have state income tax, will my annuity be taxed by that state? What if I decide to become an expat and live in Mexico? Can I do that without affecting my pension? Do I have to have a U.S. mailing address?
A. If you move to another state, the taxability of your annuity will be determined by the laws of that state. If you moved to another country, some of your annuity might be taxable under its laws; however, you could claim a credit for that and reduce your federal tax liability. There is no requirement that you have a stateside address if your permanent address is in a foreign country.
August 4th, 2010 | LEAVE
Q: I am at an activity that was to be realigned and relocated from California to Virginia. The realignment was completed, and the relocation is in process. I will be relocating to Virginia in the first week of January, prior to the end of the leave year. Will my use-or-lose annual leave hours, as of my relocation date, be restored under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(3)?
A: If you accompany your organization to its new duty location. you will receive a lump-sum payment for hours in excess of the 240 at the time of your move and will no longer be eligible for the use-or-lose provision. Further, you will no longer be authorized to accumulate leave in excess of 240 hours.