Contributors

Postal Retirement Q&A January 2017 by Roseanne Jefferson

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Roseanne is a retired USPS employee with an extensive background in USPS retirement, disability retirement, OWCP, EEO, Labor Relations and HR. She conducts individual and group counseling and is able to comprehensively discuss the pros and cons of employees who are on OWCP, disability retirement and regular retirement. Roseanne will be happy to answer your postal retirement questions. Contact Roseanne at roseanne.jefferson@icloud.com. Click here for prior Q&As and Click here for Q&As prior to July 2014.

Good Day…..and a very Happy New Year Postal Employees!!!

Q 1. Mrs Jefferson, Maybe I am wrong but I think that I saw somewhere that a married postal worker can select another option ( I think it was a set amount each month) that the spouse would get and that this would make the spouse eligible for federal health insurance. And no cost to the retiree, is this true in any way or am I way off base ? Thanks G

A 1. Hi G, That scenario, would be for CSRS….and in that scenario you could give 55% (of the minimum yearly amount (in CSRS ONLY) of $3600, (which would be $1980 per year) and that divided by 12 would give the widow/widower $165.00 per month, moreover, that would make that employee’s spouse eligible for an annuity check (although small) and health benefit coverage, should the federal employee pre-decease the federal spouse. This is NOT the same for a FERS employee. Roseanne

R 1. Roseanne, Thank you I was telling a MH at work that. He retiring and his wife just wants the health insurance. So as I was talking to him other postal workers were saying I was crazy etc. I read all your columns past and present and thought that where I had read about that . I didn’t know the money amount or the cost to him .I do give your name to my coworkers. Thanks for all the advice I get from reading you. G

AR 1. Hi G, I did not address the fact that that CSRS scenario below, does NOT reduce the annuity….as you also stated. Hopefully all out there know that there are 3 different scenario’s for a FERS employee….Full Spousal, (reduction 10%), NO Spousal (reduction 0%); and Half Spousal (reduction 5%). The half spousal is not shown on the annuity estimate, but still an option, that is discussed very little. Roseanne

Q 2. Hi Roseanne: I hope all is well with you and your family. I been emailing you, last being 2012 about a disability case. You gave me a lot of good pointers because OPM can take you through hoops. I was able to be get approved for disability retirement after going through the MSPB and Judge ruled in my favor because my forms 3112 was sent somewhere else by the agency I worked for and a person not known tried filling out the information and had no clue as to who I was.

My question now is that, I will be age 62 in a few months. Although I was terminated from my job USPS, I asked a question to OPM about what my calculations will be when I turn 62, this is what they wrote me. I don’t think this person gave me a correct answer. Did you hear of this? I thought that when you receive disability retirement until age 62, you will then convert to regular retirement. I received the blue booklet from OPM explaining my benefits. But the reason why I asked is to try to get a answer on any COLA increases that I did not receive when getting Disability Retirement in 2012. Please help. Thanks, A…see the response below.

RESPONSE FROM OPM 12/12/16

Once the Office of Personnel Management approves a disability retirement and the individual has been separated from his/her agency, then he/she cannot change to a non-disability retirement. If the individual is later found medically recovered or restored to earning capacity, then the individual may be entitled to another type of annuity. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Q 2. Hi Roseanne, I wanted to know if when I first began my career on the LSM as a PTF, we were “encouraged” to put in for LWOP when there was no “mail”. Many on our crew did this on a regular basis and mostly on Sunday’s. I was a PTF for about 2 years, then I was converted to Full-time. Will those 2 years of using LWOP have a negative effect on my retirement? I ask because a long time co-worker (we were hired on the same day), went to a position in a smaller post office and generally worked 40 hours, but not always, and when she ordered her annuity estimate, it showed that she was not being paid at 100% but 92% of her annuity. Will that LWOP in the beginning of my career effect me when I retire. Thank you for all that you do for us. AD

Q 2. Hi AD, LWOP that long ago…..should not make any difference in the calculation of her retirement. No worries….Roseanne
Q 3. Hello Roseanne, I hope you’re doing well. Quick question; what is meant by “immediate annuity” ? I plan on retiring in a few years at sixty, with more than twenty years in. I believe I can then receive an immediate fers annuity. Is this correct ? Thank you. J

A 3. Hi J, An immediate annuity is typically a reference to FULL annuity, which is immediate versus, deferred. With more than 20 years and at age 60, that is considered FULL retirement. Be SURE….I mean absolutely sure….that you work the ENTIRE MONTH IN THE MONTH THAT YOU TURN 60. RIGHT UP TO THE LAST DAY…even if you are offered to go say a day or two earlier because its the end of the pay period…which may be true…but if you don’t work that entire month…you will NOT be eligible for the special supplement ….I thought you’d want to know. Roseanne

Q 4. Hi Roseanne, I know – I have read before in your column, when a retiring Rural Carrier asked you about going back to being a temporary non career rural carrier, you said that you don’t recommend going back to work after retiring from the postal service to another federal job. But I have an opportunity to apply for a part time position that is non-career in another federal agency. Am I able to apply…that is really my only question. BW

A 4. Hi BW, Yes you ABSOLUTELY can apply for this job, and they probably will hire you. Since you know how I feel about the this subject, and “almost” quoted me….then you know my reasons why I feel this way….but yes you can. Roseanne

Q 5. Hi Roseanne – Can you give me some info on military buyback how many years can you buyback if you served 6 years of active duty. LM

A 5. Hi LM, All active years are credible. Call HRSSC at 1-877-477-3273 option 5 and request the information to BUY BACK your military time. You will need your DD214 to begin this process. They may even require YOU to write to your branch of military service for the payroll records, so calculations can be done to arrive at the amount required to buy the time back to add to your credible years of service for retirement purposes. Roseanne

R 5. Wow roseanne thank for get back with me with your information for a fellow carrier.

Q 6. Roseanne, I retired October 1 cars and got my partial payments for retirement November 1 December 1 no problem. No health insurance premiums were taking out of either check. Just want to make sure that my health insurance doesn’t lapse with APWU. I got a notice in the mail for the premium on my fedbenefits dental and paid that but have gotten nothing about my health insurance premiums. I hope you can ease my mind because I’m getting a little worried about that. Of course can’t get through on the telephone to OPM. By the way my case has been with a specialist since October 31 but has not been finalized. I hope you can shed some light on this. Thanks

A 6. Don’t worry. The first 2 interim checks NEVER have the benefits or tax taken out…this is NORMAL!! It will be when the balance check ( or 3rd check) comes. Relax….Roseanne

Q 7. Roseanne – I am at a loss why a new Form 50 was cut after 32 years with the Postal Service which stated that my serve date with military service was June 23 1983 now it has been change to June 25 1983. My Service date with the Postal Service is 6/23/1984 I had one year of military service as you can see on my military buy back form. This information was taken from my DD214s. The top is from my completed buy back form on the USPS blue page. The bottom is from the Form 50. The total of military is one active duty of 8 months 12 day and the other is 3 month and 18 days a total of 1 year but now the new math is only 363 day. Can you help me with the information that I have provided. Best Regards

A 7. My best guess is that they ran an RTR report on you, and when they did, it probably showed that “human” employee gave you, (when you were hired) miscalculated 2 days “additional” that the computer can’t align properly…all that means, when which ever XYZ district you were in when you were hired, (although I realize you work NOT at the district office that hired you)….(yea, I know what your finance number means….you work in Anytown, STATE)…and it had nothing to do with District on the info…it was your finance number…..I began my postal career in same District. And I am assuming that they gave your “credible service years” of your military time, when maybe you did not pay it back…?? But if it’s only 2 days….don’t sweat it!! Really don’t if they are only moving your RCD 2 days…it’s really meaningless other than….the dates are accurate now. In order to be credited with military years you must pay it back and those years in the military are added to the overall years in federal service…thus making it quicker to retire….providing you got the age. I hope this has helped. Roseanne

R 7. Thanks I can sleep easier tonight without fear that the OIG will come for me tomorrow at work to take me away. Ps my end date is near Jan 31 2017 I will be free at last. Btw no help in our office cannot keep PSEs they do not want to work 7 days a week and 12 hours a day. PSE work 4 hours and then quit when they find out what type of schedule they will have. Packages are out the door and two days behind on working them and its only the first of Dec…..thanks….

WHEW!! Till we speak again…….Roseanne

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