By Reg Jones
February 29th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. In a recent post, you answer that if given a specific reduction in force notice and you have the combination of age and service needed for immediate or early retirement, you can retire. Would this be the minimum retirement age and or age 50 with 20 years of service? Will this incur any penalty?
A. If given a specific RIF notice, you can take early retirement if you meet one of the age and service combinations: age 50 with 20 years service or at any age with 25. If you are a FERS employee, there won’t be any age penalty for taking early retirement, If you are a CSRS employee, your annuity will be reduced by 2 percent for every year you are under age 55 (1/6 percent per month).
Q: If you are eligible for a discontinued service retirement and you are part of a reduction-in-force, because you are on a priority placement program for a year, why can you not wait until the year is almost up to put in for your DSR?
Also, I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System, but I have money that I paid into the Civil Service Retirement System. I am not under CSRS Offset because when I was transferred the choices were not explained to me; I was just told that I had to transfer. What happens to the money that I left in my CSRS retirement when I retire (I paid in for about 14 years)?
A: If you are subject to separation in a reduction-in-force, that will happen on the date specified in your official RIF notice. There is no provision in law or regulation that would allow you to stay on board beyond that date.
On you second question, if what you say is correct, you were placed in the wrong retirement system when you returned to work for the government. You should have been put in CSRS Offset. The Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act was created to deal with such erroneous enrollments. Go here to learn more about FERCCA and find out what your next steps should be.
Q: I was recently offered voluntary early retirement from the U.S. Postal Service. I have 30 1/2 years of credible service, I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System, and I am 51 years old. I am also considered a reduction-in-force employee because our district office has been closed. Do I qualify for the special retirement supplement?
A: You would be eligible for the special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56.
Q: If I am eligible for a discontinued service annuity and I am separated due to a reduction in force, would I be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in addition to the DSA?
A: Probably not, but you’ll have to check with your state employment security agency to be sure.