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.

Good Day Postal Employees…..6 more weeks of winter!!!

LOTS GOING ON PEOPLE….SO WE ARE GOING TO GET RIGHT INTO IT!!

Hi Roseanne, Happy New Year! Thank you for keeping us updated on Postal issues, I enjoy the reading questions and especially your answers. I received a packet offering VER and my annuity estimate. I have a few questions, please help me understand.

VER RETIREMENT DATES: January 31; February 28 and March 31, 2018.

My retirement Eligibility Date is 11.08.18 with 26 years. Four year, 6 months 30 days of those 26 years are military time which I bought back. RCD AND ACD COMP DATE: 10/16/1992. High-3 average salary 58, 033.

Will I receive the supplement?

Will I be penalized, how much of a reduction if any?

Will I be able to start withdrawing from TSP now?

Is this an offer I should just pass on for now?

Thank you for all the help you have given us thru the years….but we really need guidance now. Thanks Roseanne for all you do. LD

MY RESPONSE:

VERa Early regulations…
Age 50 with 20 or more years of credible service OR
Age ANY with 25 or more years of credible service.
“The FERS portion of your annuity is not going to be reduced. You ARE eligible for the Special Retirement Supplement; AND payable if your are AT your MRA or when you REACH MRA. Special retirement supplements are subject to the Social Security earnings limitation.
And yes once you are retired, you can begin to collect from your TSP fund (again why) because it’s a part of your 3 tiered retirement.
IF IT WERE ME….I’D TAKE IT AND RUN…………. Roseanne

# 1. Dear Roseanne, Thank you for being there to answer our questions! My question has to do with retiring on the last day of the USPS pay period if that day is the last day of the month (FERS retirement). Specifically if Aug 31, of this year is my last official day of work (last day of pay period, last day of month) would my pension officially start on Sept 1, (although, I know I won’t get paid for that month till the first of the following month). Wouldn’t Aug 31, be a good day to have as my last day of work with the P.O.. Also, that (Aug.) is the first month that I qualify for the FERS supplement, as I turn 60 with 25 years early in Aug. Would working thru the last day of the month (Aug 31) ensure I get the FERS Supplement till I turn 62? Thank you for all your help!

# 2. Hi, Thank you for taking this question. My anniversary date is 12/10/1984 and I will have 34 yrs of service. I’ll turn 56 this October, reaching my MRA this year. I currently have 2200 hours of sick leave. I’m trying to figure out the earliest date I can retire and reach the 35 yr mark for credible service.
Thank you for your help.
ANSWER: THE EARLIEST DATE YOU CAN RETIRE IS OCTOBER 2018, and to try to figure how you can achieve 35 years on the button. REALLY…. If you have 34 years, 2080 hours (of sick leave) equals one year of service. There is your 35 years. What you really want to know what is going to happen to the other 120 hours….you will lose them, because they won’t calculate to a full month, and only FULL months of sick leave are calculated into the overall years of service, for retirement calculations. Roseanne

# 3 Roseanne!! So, my retirement is coming very quickly!! Can’t believe it is almost here. I stuck around for another year to get the Special Supplement, so glad I did because it went fast, you were so right….
May 15th will be 30 years. When I call HRSSC I guess they will know the best date to retire, not being May 15th , but May 26th..the end of the last pay period of that month?? Would love to go exactly May 15th, but financially I guess I can hold till the end of the month!

OK SO……All 3 of these questions (and many more I have received) have to do with the issue of receiving the Special Supplement. I am going to address this again, and really for the LAST TIME!!
Trust me I can give 10 more examples just this month, of how many different ways you all write me about this same thing. All in the same vein….” if I turn my MRA on June 10th….can I retire on June 10th and still get the Spec Supplement or do I have to retire at the end of the month of June”. This question has caused so many emails….that I am almost in awe of how 20 days ….because that is all it could ever be…if your birthday was on the first of the month….20 work days….that you would have to work to the end of the month. Regardless if you’ve worked 20 yrs..or 30 years, you want to retire ON THAT DAY. GO for it…but I am telling you that I have had emails from many employees who fit that “June” profile above, and have emailed ME, and told me they didn’t get the Special Supplement because they didn’t work the entire month in which they became eligible.

And yes, there are many that also fit that same “June” profile, and did get the Special Supplement….I don’t know why, some did and some didn’t …I am just telling you what has happened, that you “the readers” have reported to me, and I am telling you ALL, so that you are prepared. One very good thing that has improved for employees….NOW they have included the Special Supplement monthly amount at the bottom of the Annuity Estimates, so that should help ALL of you understand that portion of your 3 tiered retirement plan.

Q 1. Hello! Sorry to bother you but I have a question about annual leave. I carried over 440. Now I’m earning annual leave. When I retire, if it’s over 440 will I get paid for that? Thanks!

A 1. NO you cannot carry more than 440….if you are a craft employee, and you can’t get paid more than 440 of annual leave when you retire as well. If you find yourself in that situation, you could donate leave to someone, just so it doesn’t go to waste. OR HURRY UP and use it!! Roseanne

Q 2. Hi Roseanne, I hope everything is well with you and that you had an enjoyable holiday season. I have a quick question about Sick Leave balance, I believe that you said that full month’s sick leave would be added to service time and that any amount OVER a full month would basically be given up and lost. How is a full month defined when it comes to sick leave? 160 hours – 4 weeks = a month? Or is some other formula used. I am getting closer to decision time, wanted to get my sick leave balance close to an amount where very little would be lost. Thanks so much, D

A 2. Hi D, Several years ago, on the annuity estimates, credible service was added along with accrued sick leave…..if you had MORE than 22 days, they credited you with 1 month in “credible service, and if you had 21 days or less, you just lost those days. Now, there has been a change, and I think the number is 26 days that you need to calculate an entire month. That being said…25 days or less of sick leave, are lost. Please, keep in mind….what you are really dealing with…ONE MONTH of credible service time. In the retirement calculation for a FERS employee this ONE MONTH (each month) is (an additional) about $4.12 and ONE MONTH (additional) for a CSRS is about $9.10…this is really what you are looking at, one month! So if all you really have is an issue about one month…and the rest is credited….ARE you going to sweat this…for 4 or 9 bucks a month!! I’m Just sayin’…..Roseanne

Q 3. Hello Roseanne, I am a city carrier that is planning to retire Nov. 30, 2018. We have a 2.1 % increase scheduled for Nov. 24 2018. My question is will that increase be included in my top 3 year high salary annuity?

A 3. Yes….they OPM, always go back and recalculate when there is an increase. And it will change the amount of the annuity….but it’s so small in the overall picture (of calculating your high 3. Perhaps..1 or 2 dollars a month. But yes they do recalculate….OPM rocks!! Roseanne

Q 4. Roseanne, I have read many articles on ptr. (PTR Part-time Regular). My question is, when calculating retirement and have ptr years under my belt, do they figure based on actual work hours or the personal benefit form of scheduled hours? I was scheduled for 25 hours per week but work 35 most of the year. In addition I 204 B (higher level) part of that time. And finally how to I get the hours I worked for those years if indeed it is hours worked? Thank you so much for all your information. I enjoy your column. JB

A 4. Hi JB, Call HRSSC (1-877-477-3273) and request an annuity estimate…..your’s is one that has to be “ordered”….it won’t just print out….WHY….because you are NOT a full 40hr a week employee. And so what will be ordered for you is called a “Benefit’s Estimate Report”…Think about this…..because it’s true…..many many employees RETIRE with 30 years and have ALWAYS been a PTF (in smaller offices). Based upon those type of positions (less than 40 hours per week, that you work), a “pro-ration” factor is applied, and that pro-ration factor is listed on the Benefits Estimate Report.

And of course, those employees are still eligible to retire. They are CAREER; they have the age. But because of not being a FULL 40 hour per week employee, the annuity estimate, which the computer bases on a yearly salary (only)… (and a PTF is based on hourly), (PTR is not a full 40)…the computer cannot create a true annuity estimate. Therefore a “Benefits Estimate Report” is created for those PTF and PTR employees. That is what any PTR or PTF employee needs to begin to find out the answers you are looking for about retirement. There is more to consider, but that is the start you need. Roseanne

Q 5. Dear Roseanne, I enjoy your articles very much, keep up the good work. My situation and questions are as follows. My DOB is 04/22/1963 and EOD is 07/20/1985 which as of July 2018 will give me 33 years service. In addition I have 2600 hours sick leave and approximately $360K in my TSP. I won’t waste time speculating about the supplement, just hope that it’s still around upon my retirement. My main question is regarding a one time withdraw from my TSP to pay my house off going in to retirement. What type of penalty would I incur with this type of action. Also if there would happen to be a VERA offer prior to my MRA could I make the same withdraw? One last thing if you have an outstanding loan against your TSP when you retire how is that handled? Thanks, CAW

A 5. Hi CAW, Thank you. As far as your question is concerned…and I am SO SURE this is NOT what you want to hear….but you already know you have to work until you reach your MRA…and that makes you right now…54…and that is NOT enough to retire. You must be your MRA…and you will reach that on 04/22/2019….so short of being offered an early out VERa, you are not eligible to retire. I can’t advise you on your financial matters….like should you or not pay your house off…I have my own ideas about that…but that has nothing to do with “federal retirement”. If you do have an outstanding TSP loan….you do NOT have to pay it off…TSP will offer you let you pay it back or will let you incur a “1099” as “income” for that year. Let me say this…just an opinion…not about retirement…about paying off the house….if you do that….then you have no option OTHER than to file a short tax form…no way to include deductions. At least with having a “house payment” regardless of how small the interest is….you still get to file a long form….just parting with some information. Roseanne

Q 6.Hi Roseanne. I’ve been reading your columns for years and always find them informative. I’ve also done my own retirement research and I think I’m pretty well informed. I’ve got 34 years and 3 months in so far and turn 66 next month. CSRS. I’m thinking of retiring in the spring of 2019 but nothing for sure yet. The overtime is insane and it’s hard to walk away from the money I’m making now. I made $79,020 in 2017 and I’m only on work assignment. The guys who come in on their day off are making close to $90,000. So as long as I feel good I might as well get it while the getting is good. My question is this. I’ve had a of operations over the years and on my last one I ran out of sick leave. So I just took one day of annual a week for 4 weeks so I would get a small paycheck to pay my health insurance, etc. I didn’t want to give up my vacation time. I ended up with 17 days LWOP. Now when I retire and they compute my service time will they subtract the 17 days. I was hired a August 13th. When I do retire it will be at the end of a month and subtracting those 17 days could cost me a month of service time. Thank you for everything you do. D

A 6. Hi D, Well thank you, I try to keep you all on the right page, and looking in the right direction. You don’t actually say when the operation(s) were, in terms of 1st year of your career, 15th year in your career, 2 years ago….that really plays into what my answer will be. But in my opinion, on just what you said…..17 days of LWOP will mean absolutely NOTHING…so don’t sweat it…..really….retire!!! Roseanne

R 6. My first operation was beginning of 2012 and the second was mid 2016. All the LWOP came with the second one. I would figure that if you took a big chunk of LWOP like months they probably wouldn’t credit you with service time but since I was getting one day of annual leave each week it might not matter. I just have never read anything about that situation. I would be retired right now but I spent a lot in the past two years on medical treatments, and I’d really like to pay that down without tapping into my retirement accounts. But if the stock market keeps roaring I might leave at the end of the year. I’d like to make 35 years and I feel great. I thought of another question. How much notice do you have to give management when you retire? Someone told me you can walk in the office and say today is my last day. Is that true? If you left on short notice would that cause a delay in getting your first retirement check? I assume it would be retroactive to the day you left. The way I read things you can request the retirement online but after you fill the papers out you have to turn them in to the office you work at. Is that right? I was wondering if there was a way of stealthily slipping out the door with no fanfare. I’ve seen people counting the days from six months out. That’s not for me. I just want to disappear. Thanks again. Sorry to bother you on Sunday. You are the best. You’re a godsend to postal workers. D

My Response (Possibly TOO Strong): D, The LWOP I feel is no biggie…just based upon the (YOUR) total years of service. Yea, you could just go in and say I’m done, fill out your paperwork haphazardly. But after all these years of work….all these 35 years of working with this organization, is that how you really want to end it….I mean, it’s YOUR CHOICE. I would suggest that you go through the entire process of the retirement counseling session with HRSSC. All that about “slipping out the back Jack”…”make a new plan Stan”…no fanfare, all that is a disservice to yourself. That is just so irresponsible on your part.. Why in the world would you spend all these years working at the PO, to ATTAIN RETIREMENT, then…walk out the door, and NOT KNOW SHIT….about your retirement…..it’s just a question.!!??? Call HRSSC….your plan is NOT logical……and if you read my column…..you know I’m a straight shooter. I AM TELLING YOU…you are short changing yourself…..call HRSSC REALLY!!! Who interviews for a job, then takes that job, and when asked how much will you earn on this job…your response is “ OH I don’t know, I’ll just wait until I get paid”…..really….WHO DOES THAT!!! NO ONE….so why would you retire under that same scenario. dropping 🎤 Roseanne

Till we speak again……Roseanne