Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Hazard pay and annuity computation

Bookmark and Share

Q. I have been told by different people that environmental [hazard] pay is figured into your retirement. Can you explain this for me?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

Survivor annuity

Bookmark and Share

Q. My father who lives in Puerto Rico, is retired from the Postal Service, and is 64 years old. He told me that if he passes, I’m listed to get his pension which would be $1,200 a month, what he gets now. He is not married, and I’m curious if it’s that simple. Am I eligible? Will I get that much? For how long? I am 34.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

Deferred annuity

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am a Postal Service employee under FERS, I am over 55 years old and have about 26½ years of service. If I left USPS to work somewhere else in the private sector, would I be able to collect my annuity payments from USPS every month, or would I have to wait until I retire completely to start collecting?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

‘Quitting’ FEHB and re-enrolling

Bookmark and Share

Q. Can a retired employee quit his Federal Employees Health Benefits in retirement for, say, Tricare for Life and Medicare if retired military, and later opt to switch back to FEHB?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Disability compensation and annuity

Bookmark and Share

Q. I’m a 100 percent disabled veteran, effective April 2008, with war-incurred injuries.

In 2010, I applied for disability retirement while working for the Postal Service with 14 years of service and did not buy back my military time.

The Office of Personnel Management calculated my high-3 on my postal salary alone. Should they not have calculated my Veterans Affairs Department compensation income from 2008, since it was a war-incurred injury that led me to retire? Is there a statue that protects vets who have war-incurred injuries? And does OPM allow special compensation for this matter?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Unused sick leave

Bookmark and Share

Q. I plan to retire after 20 years of service at age 64 in 2015. I understand that I will be paid for unused annual leave. Will I be paid for unused sick leave?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

Service computation date

Bookmark and Share

Q. Can a person who is retired from federal civil service and receiving a retirement check keep their service computation date upon rehire?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

WEP

Bookmark and Share

Q. I would like to know who is responsible for informing employees who work for the government of the windfall elimination provision. I was not told about the WEP until I went to the Social Security office to file for my Social Security retirement. My Social Security benefits were reduced by more than $1,000 per month. I worked hard all my life with two jobs for over 30 years. For what? Just to have my benefits go to someone who did not work but gets benefits. How are you to be informed of this law?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Medicare Part B

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am a recent retiree and have to decide whether to obtain Medicare Part B coverage. I have, and intend to keep, my Blue Cross coverage. I am trying to determine whether I should opt for Medicare Part B for my wife and I, even though I have Blue Cross. The Medicare Part B monthly payments would range about $150 for each of us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

Catch-62

Bookmark and Share

Q. I was told I am included in the catch 62 provision. I served four years in the Air Force from 1974 to 1978 and began Postal Service employment in 1979 (to present). I’d like to retire this year. I also have 2,282 hours of sick leave, and my service computation begins in 1975.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Annuity after death

Bookmark and Share

Q. If a person dies after they receive their annuity check, what happens to the money left in their account?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

Age limit for life insurance?

Bookmark and Share

Q. When I retire from the Postal Service (under FERS), can I continue paying for life insurance for my husband and me when we are over the age of 80 or 90? Or does the Office of Personnel Management not allow me to continue paying for life insurance when I reach a certain age?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

Drawing from spouse’s retirement

Bookmark and Share

Q. I retired from CSRS on disability. I have my 40 quarters. My wife is retired from Social Security. Can I draw from her account at age 62?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Medicare Part B

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am retired military. I am 65 years old now. Do I have to pay for Medicare Part B even though no expense now?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

CSRS annuity, other income and taxes

Bookmark and Share

Q. I plan to retire this year and start my own business. I am CSRS Offset and 55 years old. How will any income I make from my business affect my pension and taxes?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Renouncing citizenship

Bookmark and Share

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

Affordable Care Act

Bookmark and Share

Q. I heard on television that, under the Affordable Care Act, children can stay on your medical plan until age 26, but spouses are not considered dependents. My wife is a few years younger than me and, when I retire next year, will she still be covered under Federal Employees Health Benefits?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

CSRS annuity

Bookmark and Share

Q. My service computation date is Oct. 15, 1979, and I was eligible for my CSRS annuity on Sept. 23, 2008 (60 years old; 29 years of service). My plan is to retire Sept. 30. This will give me 34 years, one month and 23 days of service, counting sick leave. Is my retired pay based on my age now (65 years old, five years or 10 percent over the 60/20 requirement) or my years of service (34 — four over the required 30 years or 8 percent over the requirement)?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

Windfall elimination provision

Bookmark and Share

Q. I retired in 2006 under CSRS as an air traffic controller. I had 33 years of government service between the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. I started receiving Social Security disability payments this month. I receive a periodic statement from the Social Security Administration stating what my benefits are and how much I would receive each month. The statement showed $1,200 a month. I receive $705 a month instead. I’ve earned enough credits working prior to and after my CSRS career. Why am I penalized when I have earned both benefits in my opinion?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Creditable service

Bookmark and Share

Q. My husband has worked for the federal government for the past 15 years after a career at the state level, and is thinking about retiring in a couple of years. When he was in his late teens, he worked summers (1965, 1966, 1967) for the Finance and Accounts Office, U.S. Army, Department of Defense. May he use those summer employment opportunities as credit toward retirement? If yes, whom would he contact to find out what he needs to do to have these credited?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,