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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Day Postal Employees
……let’s get right to it !! This first question has “history” along with it – try to follow on this one….
Q 1. Roseanne, Good evening. I had previous communications with you regarding my retirement on 1/3/2016 and my plan for buy back of previous casual time. I submitted my PS form 2803 to HRRSC in December 2015, the application to make deposit or redeposit for the casual time I worked.
OPM failed to respond to my request. I sent a few emails to OPM, since calling them on the matter proved fruitless. On 8/18/2017, after dealing with four different OPM Administrative assistants over the past 16 months, I finally received a written response. OPM stated “OPM does not routinely offer the opportunity to pay this deposit, unless someone specifically requests prior to adjudication because decades of processing annuities show that very few people actually pay pre 1/1982 deposits after making the cost benefit analysis.” They further stated ” we have no record either in the paper case or in our on line system showing that you requested to pay the deposit.”
Then the letter states: “Therefore, we regret to inform you that we will not be offering you the opportunity to make this post adjudication deposit”.
They highlight the appeal process to OPM; then MSPB after OPM gives a final decision. I find this letter alarming. For several months I waited for a reply and sent emails stating that I never received a response to my application since I retired. We have a right to be provided this information. I was alarmed with such a response and the delay in this matter. My question is: Have you ever heard other employees receive such a response from OPM? I had another manager I worked with inform me when he retired in 2016, that OPM processed his 2803 and it took about 5 months.
I have the feeling my application was clearly mishandled when my application for retirement was processed. I just would like your thoughts on this matter and how best to proceed. If I had of known that I was not able to by back my casual time, I would have worked another year to reach my 80 % rate of retirement pay. This was very alarming news, since I never heard such a response for PS form 2803 applications. L
Hi L – yes I have heard of it…this is why in 2015 I specifically told you to do this PRIOR to retiring or it was going to be a nightmare….
HISTORY OF THIS CASE
Let me refresh your memory…..
2015 Q. Roseanne; If you could, could you assist me with a few question regarding buying back my casual time. I was on the USPS retirement website and saw your name and info regarding assistance with answering questions employees have regarding buy back of casual employment time. I worked as a casual for 10 months in 1975. I planned to retire 1/1/2016. I have 40 years and 5 months of total service time including my 10 months of casual time. I have 1 year and 9 months of sick leave accrued, for a total of 42 years and 2 months time, as of 1/1/2016. My question is how much will it cost me to buy back my casual time back, for the period of time in 1975 where I made $8.00 per hours for about a 35 hour work week, for the 10 month period? Can you give me a guess of what the dollar amount may be? My goal is to achieve the 41 years, 11 month time for 80 % annuity level of pay which I will achieve, if I buy back the leave. If I don’t buy back the leave, then I will have a decrease in my annuity, less than 80%, for lesser years if service credited. If the buy back cost is too expensive, then I may have to make a decision to work until 7/1/2016. I would appreciate your advice on this matter. L
2015 -A. Hi LG, You really need to order an annuity estimate. Call Shared Services at 1-877-477-3273. Once you get (unless you already have one), with that estimate, I’d be better able to answer that questions, and tell you some things you may or may NOT know, before you venture out to this. Roseanne
2015 R. Roseanne, I have the annuity estimate and I have had the retirement counseling a few weeks ago. But the employee could not answer all my questions.
Final 2015 Response: AND you are ALL SO OK with them NOT answering your questions…WOW!!
But let me tell you what each (additional) month gains you….about $8-10 dollars a month (CSRS). So killing yourself to get to 41 yrs. / 11 mo. is kind of crazy. As far as buying back your casual time…just the time frame alone for all of that to be completed, you would probably be well beyond July 2016, even if you waited (versus retiring at the end of 2015). That process takes quite a while. Some employees have waited a year or more for those types of actions to be processed to the point that it shows in your Form 50 history, where it adds to your overall years of service. My opinion is move on without it. But if you plan to delay your retirement and try to buy back this casual time, you need to get started now…..right now, because when you retire….they will find any reason to NOT do it…too many years of changing decades of history…….AND …….then to fix, when you’re retired at that point…so right now start. HRSSC is where you need to start to initiate this action….right now, really right now! Roseanne
MORAL OF THIS CASE
….You ask for my guidance, and I do all that I can to give you the best way to handle situations. And then either you don’t, OR you DON’T FOLLOW UP with HRSSC. Bottom line, it did not get corrected prior to retirement. And then 2 or 3 years later, you come back to ask me how to fix what I pretty much already told you would NOT be able to be fixed as a “retiree”….and I’m totally lost as to why, after asking and getting the information, you guys would not follow my advice…….”I am just randomly thinking out loud”!!!
If you have a problem, and I give a solution, but you either don’t follow through, or simply don’t, then you want ANOTHER work around for what I told you wouldn’t work…..IS it ME or is it YOU….All of you think about that. Again, this is why YOU ALL need to review your eOPF’s. Because when you go to retire, and something isn’t right, you could very well be THAT CASE ABOVE that you are reading about!!! Roseanne
Q 2. Hi Roseanne, I will have 33 years in December and turn 56 on January 25, 2018. HR says I can go on January 24, 2018 but I’ve read I need to be in pay status on January 31, 2018 to qualify for supplement if there is still a supplement at that time Can you please give me your opinion on which day, 24 or 31? SM
A 2. Hi SM, FIRST….FIRST…..FIRST…..You ARE NOT EVEN ELIGIBLE to retire on 1/24, regardless of the Special Supplement, because on THAT day you are NOT even your MRA yet!! You’re first day of eligibility is 1/25… so clearly that was totally wrong information. If it were me, I would retire on 1/31 to be eligible for both. Roseanne
R 2. That was kind of where my thoughts were at. Thank you so much, seems as though every time I call with a question there is a different answer to the same question. January cannot come fast enough….thank you so much for all that you do for us. SM
Q 3. Hi Roseanne, I will have 41 years in in October 2017. I plan to retire 1/1/2018 . We get paid on December 29th. Will I get a check in the next pay period for that last week of December? Or will it be on my annuity check? Do they take taxes out of Social Security? THANK YOU any other advice will be appreciated RP.
Yes you will be paid for all of your work hours and will be paid for any “Earned” annual leave that you have remaining. The post office pays you the wages you “worked” for. And too, the post office pays you, your the earned annual leave balance. Those (payroll) checks (typically 2), one or both, may not be deposited into your bank account such as your pay checks were. The first check after retirement (from USPS) may be deposited into your bank account (because perhaps the SF Form 50 for your retirement has not processed yet); however, the second check (& typically the last one from the post office), will not be deposited into the bank, but it will be a paper check that will be sent to your office that you worked at. Yes they take all the same deductions that were taken out of your pay check. NOTHING that you do at the post office, has any financial relationship to OPM who will be paying you…..EXCEPT…FOR ONE THING…IF, when you retire, has used more leave than you had “earned”…..OPM will retrieve that money for the post office. I hope this has helped. Roseanne
3 R. Hi Roseanne…..thank you. You’ve been so helpful. I have one more question, if I retire on January 1, 2018, will I get a check in the next pay period, for the last week of Dec., or will it be on my annuity check? Because I will need money for middle of the month bills thanks again. RP
Final Response Q 3. Any money “earned” at the post office, is paid by the post office. If you retire on 12/31/2017…BECAUSE THAT IS THE DAY OF YOUR RETIREMENT!! YOUR EFFECTIVE DATE AS A RETIREE IS 1/1/2018….that being said, any monies earned by being employed by the USPS is paid by the USPS not OPM, and is NOT on your annuity check. Two different agencies, two different payments, for two different types of money. So, if you work and your last day is 12/31/2017, the next (postal) pay day is 1/12/2018, (& even though you are not an employee….it’s still a postal payday) and THAT check, (for the prior PP26 (12/23-01/05/2018)) as I explained is going to be AT THE POST OFFICE THAT YOU USED TO WORK AT…in pay location 999. I hope this has cleared up any confusion on how you get paid. Roseanne
PEOPLE…..THIS IS HOW IT GOES FOR EVERYONE
Your last paycheck- IF NOT deposited in your bank account, will be at the office in which you retired from in Pay Location 999. And the same holds true for you “earned annual leave” check, that too goes to the office of record (your last employing finance number), in pay location 999
Q 4. Hey Roseanne, I have a question about sick leave. I have a year that I am adding to my years of service & 2 months I was going to take starting in Nov of this year. When I am using my sick leave will I also be earning sick leave since I will still be in a pay status? Thank you D.
A 4. Hi D, Absolutely yes. You are in a pay status….
R 4. Hi Roseanne, I was told by the lady at HR that I would not be earning any sick leave, when I take sick leave.
Final 4 Response: Then I guess that is why you wrote me…..cuz…it JUST SOUNDS WRONG….doesn’t it. AND that response was wrong. Unless there is something SO OUTLANDISH about you…OWCP issues….?? Because when you look at your pay stubs, when you did take sick leave, in all your working years, because everyone has taken sick leave in increments of one or two weeks…..did you NOT earn sick leave then…..of course you did! Roseanne
Q 5. Hi Roseanne, I retired from USPS in 2015. In 2016 took one time withdrawal and monthly payments. In 2016 moved from NJ to NC. I understand paying federal tax but NC wants to tax me after I paid taxes in NJ when making contributions. I can’t believe I have to pay state taxes twice. Please help, Thanks, JL
A 5. Hi JL, When you start off and say you took a one time withdrawal, and monthly payments….let me say….very smart…very smart!!! And I’ll start there. But in keeping with HOW your retirement works, your statements reflect TSP right..
And that is NOT where your bitch is…(it could NEVER BE…why…because TSP, that is VIRGIN Money….regardless of what state you live or lived in). But if talking about “retirement” from OPM, there is something called the “Bailey Law”. Which is if you fall into a certain “time frame of federal employment”, you could be exempt from paying any state tax on your federal pension in North Carolina, as am I. BUT KEEP IN MIND, I am a CSRS employee, and I began my postal career in the early 80’s. And depending on when you tell me your employment dates, I can let you know if you qualify for NO STATE TAX. Typically, if you are a FERS employee, and now a FERS retiree, you probably will have to pay state tax in North Carolina. Roseanne
Q 6. Hi Roseanne, I put in for early retirement on August 31 2017. Paper work not done yet by human resourses, so I am not getting paid. How do I get my SS supplement. Human Resources I do nothing. Is this true. Will I make it in time before the supplement is abolished for 2018. What do I do to get my supplement. I am confused. J
A 6. HI J, You say you put in for “early retirement”…..what do you mean by that? You were given an “early out” or a VERA?
If that is the case, and your position was offered an “early out- VERA”, when YOU SPOKE with HRSSC on your “retirement phone call”….what did they tell you…during THAT retirement session. Because that is a part of your retirement that should be discussed, particularly how and when the Special Supplement goes into effect, when you are retiring under the Early Out Authority. And during that phone session, did YOU ask THEM that very important question……about the Special Supplement – and what did they say? (Dying to hear this…)
And if you tell me NO, my question back to you is WHY NOT?
When you have an “early out” the information regarding how the special supplement is “applied” is provided to you in the “VERA Early Out Offer” packet. Because that is what you said…..you put in for early retirement. I personally don’t believe that is what you did, because you cannot “put in for an early retirement”….but I could be wrong. And then too, if you put in your paperwork for a retirement effective 10 days ago……did you really expect something yet, really…..in 10 days….really you expected something??? AND then to say “Human Resources I do nothing”….what exactly did that mean…..? I suspect they told you that they do “nothing” about the Special Supplement, and that is a true statement, they don’t. OPM is the “decider” if you are eligible for the Special Supplement or not.
I am not even sure that you retired under an early out…..I have my suspicions of what type of retirement you actually applied for. BUT I truly expect to you write me back and tell me that you didn’t have an early out offer, but went out on your MRA (minimum retirement age) and you don’t have 30 years….OH…it is a ……retirement… it’s an MRA retirement, and if it is my friend, unfortunately, you are NOT EVER going to get the Special Supplement. Roseanne
This retirement is an MRA+10. You’ve heard me write about this for years….well there it is. If you are your MRA, and have more than 10 years…yes you can retire….but as a FERS employee, if not under the full retirement rules of MRA +30 or more years, OR Age 60 with 20 or more years, you are NOT eligible for the Special Supplement.
Till We Speak Again…………… Roseanne