Contributors

Postal Retirement Q&A June 2016 by Roseanne Jefferson

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Good Day Postal Employees!!

I am back !!!! (on the mend,…but semi-back). Getting older is not for the faint of heart. Thank you to all who have sent well wishes to me during these past few months. Physical therapy is brutal but critical l!!

Q 1. Hello Roseanne, hope your on the mend and hip is doing better…. I had sent you an email in april about the medicare part B and our health plan…you said don’t do anything until you get back to me….so I was just checking in…I know your probably overwhelmed with P.T and answering your emails and questions for the articles you write…and not sure the people at the NALC health plan would give me the complete info needed …thanks for your time…looking forward to hearing back…

A 1. Hi, I am on the mend…slow..but coming along. So this email address I am going to give you is a booklet regarding FEHB & Medicare. Its about 17 pages…..PRINT OUT…ITS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD!! The booklet sums up on the top of page 6 what I want you to read…not because I say…but because of what IT says in the Federal publication. http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/medicare/75-12-final.pdf
Follow it exactly..Roseanne

Q 2. Good evening hop-a-long!!! I trust the procedure went well and you are back to being great. My question is, when exactly is ones Retirement date eligibility? I have a couple of coworkers who state they were notified of eligibility the day before their 56th birthday. These are FERS employees. Anxiously awaiting your return to PostalMag. Thanks T

A 2. Hi T, Typically an Annuity Estimate will go out when the employee reaches THEIR MRA, and have 10 or more years of federal service. Contrary to popular believe there are some employees that are FERS that do have an MRA of 55 and some 57. Your MRA is determined by your date of birth, even in some years broken down by which year & month that you were born. That is why FERS employees, can have very different MRA dates. The first question was when is exactly retirement eligibility date? Again, age and years of credible service will determine this.
And although that was the question you wrote – I think that is so NOT the norm (a FERS age 55) that I think you are talking about an MRA+10 eligibility – where the employee meets their MRA but has only 10 or more years of service. Laying in bed so I can’t get up and give the exact years of FERS age break down but ….as stated above some FERS employees have an MRA of 55. Roseanne

Q 3.My name is J.L.Retired. I retired April 4 2004 12yrs ago at age 56. Visited Social Security office yesterday, May 10 2016 was told I needed a letter of award from Postal Service (C S R S) . How do I go about getting one. Thanks J

A 4. Hi J, an award letter sounds to me like OWCP issues…injured on the job….disability retirement. As a CSRS employee, SS is not a part of your retirement plan. So obviously there is way more to this question than has been presented here. Roseanne

Q 5. I received a letter from OPM stating i needed to make a decision about making a deposit of 1691.00 for part time work from 1982 thru 1988. could i get your input on this matter Thanks H

A 5. Hi H, Without knowing ANY of the circumstances……almost always its a good idea (if you are eligible to) to make that deposit.

Q 6. Hello Roseanne; Thank you isn’t enough for the work you do with this column. My question is: When I was young, I worked as a seasonal park ranger in various National Parks in the west. I am soon to retire from the USPS, on FERS. Am I correct, that if I were to again work as a seasonal park ranger, the pay I would receive for that, since they’re part of the federal govt., would affect my FERS payment ? Thanks J

A 6. Hi J, Wow….this is a tricky one….OPM allows for retired federal employees to work “certain” temporary jobs WITHOUT it affecting their retirement. In the USPS, the TRC (Temporary Rural Carrier) is one and at one time PMR (Postmaster Relief). Those jobs HAD to have OPM approval, showing that we as an organization (USPS) attempted every way to hire someone that was NOT a federal retiree.

I am not sure how that would work with seasonal Park Ranger. I do know that retired federal workers have been census takers, and that did not affect their federal pension…considering the short time frame that sounds within reason. But what I do know is this….once you work more than 180 days(does not have to be consecutive) in a calendar year, then OPM will begin deduct from your annuity. Roseanne

R 6. Wow, glad I asked, as I thought I was outta luck, period. These seasonal appointments never exceed 180 days ! I’ll be sure to ask any park, etc. involved, as well as the OPM, if I do got this route, about any conflicts. Speaking of which, I assume that 180 day limit applies only to federal jobs, not private enterprise, correct ? Thanks again, hope your surgery went well !

Rose: Yes you are correct….any job you can work in private sector or even state, city or county job too is OK. It’s only federal jobs that have this issue of effecting you annuity. Roseanne

Final- Thank you again, and I apologize for bothering you in your recovery; I didn’t notice until after I sent my first message. Best to you, J

Q7. Hi. I am eligible for the special social security supplement when I retire this July Do I have to apply for the supplement or is it automatically added in to my monthly retirement? thanks

A 7. If you are eligible – then the Spec Supp will come (from OPM). OPM will calculate the amount of the Spec Supp & it will be deposited to the same account that your FERS retirement check will be deposited in. OPM pays the Special Supplement. Roseanne

Q 8.I likely won’t retire until the end of March, 2018 (I’ll be 59 1/2) but I have just a few questions I’m hoping you’ll help me with.
Is Social Security taxable at the end of the year when we do our taxes? If so, can either the Feds or State withold or do I hold some aside to pay up at the end of the year Re: the supplement:
1. AM I SUPPOSED TO CONTACT THE SS OFFICE PRIOR TO RETIREMENT? IF SO, HOW FAR BEFORE I RETIRE DO I NEED TO CONTACT THEM IN ORDER TO RECEIVE EITHER SOCIAL SECURITY OR THE SUPPLEMENT AT THE TIME OF RETIREMENT? (SO I’LL BE SURE TO RECEIVE A PAYMENT AT THE ACTUAL TIME OF RETIREMENT). OR, DOES OUR HR DO THE PAPERWORK SO WE’LL RECEIVE THE SUPPLEMENT TIMELY AND AUTOMATICALLY?
2. ONCE THE SUPPLEMENT RUNS OUT AT AGE 62, DO WE NEED TO REAPPLY FOR THE ACTUAL SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT OR DOES IT AUTOMATICALLY BEGIN TO PAY US SINCE WE WERE ALREADY GETTING THE SUPPLEMENT.
Your time is greatly appreciated. We do have the internet at our disposal to look things up but still things are confusing. It’s too bad USPS doesn’t have local HR anymore. Thanks,GT
A 8.Hi GT All income is taxable…..just at very different percentages..Yes you can set aside (withhold) for SS (this is your choice).
(1) YES you are to contact the SS office 6 months prior to turning 62, since (if (your are) ELIGIBLE)) because the Special Supplement WILL end (2) when you are 61 and 11 months . And as far as the Special Supplement, OPM is the agency that pays you, NOT the Social Security Administration. If eligible OPM will begin paying you the special supplement once the retirement is completed, and has been determined and validated that you are eligible for the Special Supplement. Roseanne

Q 9. Hi Roseanne, I am a USPS FERS employee who will be retiring at the end of Oct. with 30 yrs. and 26 days of service. I have been taking quite a bit of LWOP due to the low mail volume in our office. My question is, will too much LWOP affect my retirement date? I know that I lose AL and SL for using over 80 hours but do I also lose service time? I don’t want to use 160 hours of LWOP and then find out that I lost a month of service time. Thanks, John

A 9. Hi John, LWOP is counted against you (in years of service)..if you have MORE than 6 months in one calendar year. Less than that, has no bearing or negative effect to the retirement calculations. Roseanne

Q 10. Hello, I’m a 60 year old craft (ET) at USPS. I’ve been missing quite a bit of work do to health issues. My supervisor and manager have been pushing me to apply for disability retirement. I only have 9 years with the USPS and no military. By submitting my forms for disability retirement, did I just give them an easy way to get rid of me with no annuity? in other words did I just make a really bad move? Worried! KO

A 10. Hi KO You need to Shared Services at 1-877-477-3273, option #5 and request a disability annuity estimate and tell them on the phone that you would like to set up for application for disability retirement. They will send you the estimate and the blue booklet to begin the process. They will assist you during this process. Get started right away, this is a long and arduous process. Begin now, by getting much of your medical information ready, as you will need all of that for this. You are eligible to apply for disability retirement with only 9 years, I suggest you begin now. Roseanne

Till we speak again…………….Roseanne

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  • Guy Potter

    I have retired at 54 now 61 but have read somewhere that there is no penalty on the last year for fers employees and the supplement on the income they earn? I am earning over 15000 a yr but read the last year I would not be penilized but was still told it goes by earnings no matter what?

  • Mike Metiva

    Rosanne, I know to have health insurance carry through with you and your spouse into retirement you will have to have carried them 5yrs. What if the spouse has better dental and vision insurance and I choose to be on their dental and vision plan ONLY. I than retire having carried my HEALTH insurance through out my postal career, 30yrs. Now, retired I want to get back into the FEHB Dental and Vision. Can I sign back up without paying the higher amounts since I’ve carried the medical health insurance, or do I need to have carried the dental and vision the last 5 years that I worked as well?

  • The Catman

    Hello RJ. My wife retired on disability from the Post Office January of 2015. She had not reached her Minimum Retirement Age at that time. She soon will in September of 2016. Is she entitled to the Post Office Supplement or any monies from Social Security now or does she have to wait until she’s 62, or later?

  • frank

    Hi Roseanne, my question is about deferred retirement. If I do a defer retirement, can I work as much as I want until my “official” retirement? or am I restricted to how much I can earn?

  • Sherry

    Roseanne, I am a FERS employee. My Personal Statement of Benefits says I can retire on my birthday when I reach 56. Now I am 57 and want to retire when I turn 58. I believe I can keep my health insurance and will pay the premium, is that correct? I will have 24 years in service. Since I don’t have 30 years, I was told I will lose 5% of my annuity for each year before the age of 60, is that true? Is there a postal disability I can leave on? I have so many health issues from the repetition of my job, that I feel I can’t work much longer.