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!!
I had to take a break…to have cataract surgery on both my eyes. Because of it being eye surgery, the recommendation is not to do both eyes at the same time. So there are weeks of down time between being able to have both eyes completed with surgery so that you are looking at relatively the same level.
Reading was difficult in the beginning, because one eye saw SO POWERFULLY amazing, and the other – was what it had been, good with glasses. I had absolutely no idea of how truly distorted my vision was. No idea of how diminished colors looked to me..and I also had no idea of how long I was seeing everything in this way. It has to be so slow over time, that I just never noticed. I could see so incredibly good, it was every morning an emotional response that actually made me cry, especially before the second eye was done. Because that is the only way you could ever measure the difference of your vision. I spent 3 or so weeks…putting one hand on one eye and the other hand on the other eye….and just could not believe my eyes….could not!!! It was as if the eye that had not had surgery was surrounded by a veil that was soaked in nicotine…(my experience). My eye that had surgery, saw vibrant colors in that eye and a clarity of vision, I hadn’t seen…i cant remember when. For the first week or so, it was so emotional, because I had no idea that is what a cataract did to your impair your vision – to that degree. But I will say this, understand that when you can see that good, you also see yourself really good too…..and I don’t look the same…because what I saw is not what I looked like…because nothing that I saw was really what it looked like! I am not promoting anyone to do anything….I’m am sharing why I needed to take a couple of months off….and that experience…..and I’m BACK…
On September 15th, changes occur that reflect the passage of the TSP of Modernization Act (PL 115-84). Beginning of September 15, 2019, you will have more options for how and when you can access money from your TSP account. In my opinion, already a great way to utilize a part of your retirement, but with even more options, that kept some of you from seeing the true value of the monthly payment with TSP.
To find this information, you need to go to tsp.gov, and find fact sheet TSPFS10 (5/2019), and print it out so you can read it and truly understand your current options and the new options that take effect on the 15th.
Q 1. Hello Roseanne,
I have been reading your column since you started it and I really appreciate everything that you have taught me.
I just recently retired on May 31, 2019. I mailed in my retirement forms on April 4, 2019. I was expecting to get my terminal leave check in a month or so and I was expecting to have it sent to my office. The secretary was prepared to call me.
I was very happy today to see the pay for my last week of work and 131 hours of annual direct deposited into my checking on June 14, 2019! In addition my pay stub came in the mail today and it said on it that it was my Terminal Leave.
I thought I’d let you know that it seems the PS has improved their system
I don’t know if this is how it will be for everybody but it is certainly better that what I was expecting. I am FERS with 34 some year and I am over 62. Sincerely KV
A 1. Hi KV, – I am so thankful for employees like you, who write me to inform me of changes, that I can share with my readers. “The Only Thing That Remains The Same Is “Change””…so a humble thank you for that valuable piece of information. You are added to the next column!! I will sanitize it, but it will be our words. Roseanne
So what she was saying is that when you retire, (and this was the way it has been for decades) or when you retired you had to go back to your office of employment to pick up your last paycheck and sometimes the last check that paid you your “earned” annual leave. That has been changed, so that you no longer have to do that, it is being deposited into your bank account, and the stub mailed. So a great change for retirees that disliked the idea of going right back to where they worked to pick up their last check(s).
Q 2. Good Evening my friend!
Read your columns all the time and retired last year. First of all I cannot stress enough to
employees in investing the max into the TSP. I was hired in the first group in 1984 and when I retired ending up with over 400K. in TSP. Will get back to this shortly.
I had 34 years, with an additional 2 years and 3 months of SL, and added 4 years military time. One cannot stress the importance of buying back military time. I had just turned 56, & did not want to retire. But my back was bothering me and Workers
Compensation was becoming an issue. It worked out OK. I have been busier than ever. And didn’t want to deal with with this OWCP issue any longer with postal management.
Another thing I see is many of my friends who started the P O. late in life with about 20 years and turning 65 are dropping there Federal Health Plan opting for Medicare A and B but having deductibles. Those that didn’t drop are having no deductibles. Medicare A is a given but don’t drop FEHB, for Medicare Part B.
In regards to TSP. I talked with a lot of financial experts in moving my money out of TSP. Some said if you move your money in a transfer there would be no tax burden and I will give you 60 k up front after the transfer. Decided to stick with TSP and it has continued to grow even without my contributions. Also looked at annuities in every aspect which I may take later on. Was told by TSP you can t take an annuity on only 200K, but must use the whole amt.
What I will also tell employees is to get another life insurance policy in your 50 s for a spouse as the rates are going to increase but carry the postal insurance until you retire. Also if divorce is ever in your future like one of my friends found out after he retired and she didn’t work , she will get half.
When I left my job as a Carrier it was sudden. I had served on this route for over 20 years. Customers were calling me left and right. Never thought that an injury of annoyance would get the better of me. In closing! This is just my opinion and some friends who have invested and pulled there money out of TSP are doing OK financially with financial firms. There are tax ramifications if not done right. Then there is the supplement and lost at 62. Retire with no bills , house payments and debt free.
This was not a letter that needed a response but a long time reader who was sharing his experience with his retirement. I am NOT saying I agree with all of his statements, as you all know I say..there is always a BUT-IF…but it wasn’t a question….
Q 3. Dear Roseanne, I am retiring at the end of this month (July) and would prefer not to have to pick up my last retirement check where I now work, but rather have it mailed to me instead. Is there a procedure for doing so? If there is not I guess I will have to go and pick it up but I am unclear on this issue. I spoke to someone at HR shared services telephonically and they told me to contact payroll, but that does not seem right. Can you help Thanks! OV
A 3. Hi OV I have just found out from several employees that NOW the USPS is sending the last paycheck(s) to the same account that your paycheck is going to. Now there is no need to go the the office of employment or to have them mail you your last checks. And the response to contact payroll, which if I am not mistaken in in Eagan, MN., sounds lame. Roseanne
Q 4. Roseanne, I just read an article on best dates to retire but I must defer to the expert that I’ve been reading for years, you!
I was not able to load that article to this email…But is was JAZZY! Lots of data….and in some cases “could be an on-point date”
But NOT FOR HIM!
FERS retirement. Postal. 26 Pay periods that begins on Saturday, ends on Friday.
On August 25th I will turn 56 (my MRA). Hire/ Retire Comp Date 7/4/1987. I will have 33 years +.This chart suggests Saturday August 29, 2020 as best date to retire. Is this correct? Last day of work is Aug 28. Retirement begins Aug 29? ORShould I finish out the month (as I have heard)? Thank you for all that you have done and do. M
A 4. Hi M, I have probably answered this question in 20 different ways…and you always have to look at the dates of who YOU are and not just an “overall” generic piece of regulation data. In YOUR case…YOUR case, (based on what???) ..based on your DOB 8/25 and that you will turn your MRA on 8/25/2020….you NEED to work the entire month….to COMPLETE YOUR EMPLOYMENT, IN THE MONTH IN WHICH YOU “MET” YOUR ELIGIBILITY. My answer has more to do with eligibility for the Special Supplement. Another subject that I’ve written about for years. Now if you asked me that same question and you were 58, my answer would be completely different. Roseanne
Q 5. Hi Roseanne, I haven’t been able to find any updates or articles from you in about 2 yrs. I sincerely apologize if I am out of line asking… are you still writing your columns?
A 5. Yes, I am still writing my columns….and the only place I write them is postalmag.com. I know that they are “imported”…for lack of a better word at many other sites. I have many people tell me that they “read my blog”…and my response is…I didn’t know I wrote a “blog”? I write for postalmag only. Roseanne
Q 6. Dear Roseanne: Thank you for all that you do for our fellow postal family. I can’t even begin to tell you the peace of mind that you offer to families — but you know all that that is why you do what you do, because I know people that know you, and I have actually have met you during one of your seminars. You are a powerful speaker, have the ability to MAKE us understand. We are grateful for you not giving up on us. Without you here, we have no where to turn….
My husband was hired March of 1984 and didn’t choose CSRS as his retirement system – he didn’t have the money to buy back his military time – they didn’t tell him about monthly payments if it were offered at all. Now fast forward 35 years later – would he still be able to buy back the military time but I wonder at what cost? Hope you can shed some light IF this situation ever came up Much obliged, L.
A 6. Hi L, Yes he can. And I suggest he begin right away by calling HRSSC 1-877-477-3273 to begin the process called MBB Military Buy Back. AGAIN Start now. If your husband was CSRS or FERS a discussion is always good to have. There is not one answer fits all. As example, if your husband retired from the military, that would be a discussion could lead into perhaps that buy back may NOT MAKE IT GOOD financial sense to buy it back. But if he is a FERS employee and is not retired military, then yes it is a good idea to buy back the military as soon as you can, since it will growing in pay back with interest. I really think you both will be surprised on how affordable it is to buy that time back. It’s certainly a boost “forever” as it relates to “lifetime”monthly income. Roseanne
Q 7. Hi Roseanne, One more question has occurred to me, if you don’t mind. I started for the USPS on October 8, 1988. I know that my FERS annuity counts every full month worked, but I wonder about the Special Supplement. If I were to retire on December 31, 2022, to do the estimate for the Supplement amount, do the “years of service” go from 10/8/88 through 10/8/22 or does it go from the calendar year of 1/1/89 until 12/31/22, eliminating the first or last 2+ months of my actual service time? If I retire on September 30 2022, would I be losing a full year to be calculated for Supplement pay?Thanks for all your help that you provide to everyone, it’s greatly appreciated! B
A 7. Hi B, The Special Supplement pays “years” unlike FERS or CSRS that each month has an added calculation. In reviewing some of the FERS estimates that now have the Special Supplement…it is very clear that “months” don’t change that figure. I would suggest that it is increased after each 12 full months of credible service, as it is added. Roseanne
Q 8. Roseanne, I am a Postmaster. I will have 37 years as of July 17th 2019. I am CSRS. I hope to make my last working day September 28th, then use up my AL, which should take me to January 3rd, 2020 with just a couple days to spare. I understand that I will continue to earn SL and Al, and any Holidays that fall while I am using up my AL ? Is there any down side to using Al in this way, as opposed to getting a lump sum after September 28th?
And, at this time I have a 9 % deduction for part time years. Will this ever decrease? Is this the same as non deduction service? And can you explain voluntary contributions ? Last question: what is the rule on SL- as to what is lost if a full 30 days is not worked? Is it correct that my 17 days ( comp. date) will count for nothing for SL, or how does that work? Thank You very much for your help. B
A 8. Hi B, That’s a tall order, because I am going to answer under the assumption that everything you say is correct and true. There is no down side at all to using up all of your “earned” annual leave, other than having a lump sum of money to sit on until the “pension” check from OPM begins to come. And correct on the continued earning (although AL was advanced).The pro-ration factor (9% reduction) will not change. And, no it’s not the same as non-deduction service. Voluntary contributions could mean several things, you may have left federal employment, cashed in your retirement, and then came back to federal retirement, and wanted to refund what you took out when you resigned; potential other federal employment. Too vague for a really good answer.
Sick leave looks to me right now as the calculation is 28 days….so 28 days calculate as a month and if were 27 days of sick leave, they would be lost. Versus what it was before….22 days counted as one month and 21 days and under you lost. I hope this has helped!! Roseanne
Follow Q 8. I hope you can answer a couple more belated follow up questions. Do you mean that any amount of SL less than a full 28 days will not count as a month, and will be lost? ( bummer…) And also- I just got off a webinar that talked about buy back for CSRS employees for part time work. Does that exist, and if so can you explain? And when would it be an advantage to do this? Thank you very much !
Response: Yes to the first question, you would lose 27 days. I just did a retirement and the annuity estimate showed 31 years, 11 months and 26 days. (1 day of credible service and 25 days of added sick leave)….and they are still getting calculated for 31 years and 11 months!! Do the math….
I guess the next question would be did you have any non-career federal service (not necessarily at the post office); (temporary) not credible for retirement in they post office like casual, TE;RCR…those types of positions. If so, you should have addressed that before now.
If they had YOUR information in front of them…why did you ask them….YOU ask me? If on a webinar & and you can’t ask questions…what real good is that webinar?
THEY should have explained all of that to you. I can’t explain what I don’t see about you in terms of “work history” or how your history relates to the subject. Again…..why didn’t you ask THEM to explain…as ALL of your history is on the screen right in front of them. They should be able to tell you if you even have time that is credible to buy it back. An advantage….may not be so great if the buy back takes more than 3/4 years to recover. But that is really stretching to say that you even have that to consider. Check it out before you retire.
2nd FollowUp- I should clarify- the webinar I was on was not THE retirement call, but rather, a short , general info put on by Info@federalbenefitadvisory.com, so they were not looking at my info, but giving info in general terms.All of my time for PO , since 07-17-1982 has been Career, but the first 16 or 17 ( ?) years were as a Part Time Flex Clerk. So , that is where I am confused. I thought “ buy back” applied only to military or non- career time, but yesterday they made it sound as if part time “ time” could be “ bought back”. Were they wrong in saying this?
Answer- Well that is why folks are confused, because YOU may not fall into the “general” info. In your case NO. There’s nothing to buy back..since all of your Postal time IS CAREER. And not just military time can be bought back. Some RCA’s (Rural Carrier Assoc) & totally depending on what years they were an RCA, could have bought that non career time back, not in your case, just as information. Roseanne
Q 9. Hi Roseanne, I am a retired Postal Clerk, went out in 2009 with a 34 years as a CSRS retiree. If I return as a winter casual, how will that affect my retirement?
A 9, As long as you don’t work more than 6 months in calendar year in that non-career position it will not affect your CSRS pension. Many times we hired retired postal employees to be temporary rural carriers or Holiday Clerks/Mailhandlers/Carriers….under a certain NOA “Nature of Action” code for the holiday season. If you did however, work more than 6 months in a calendar year, OPM will begin to reduce your pension check. Roseanne
Q 10.Hi Roseanne, I retired a year ago. I plan on selling my townhouse soon and purchasing a small house. Will this affect my social security supplement that I receive? Is there a time limit that once I sell my house that I will have to reinvest it it to the purchase of the new home? Thanks for all your help. L
A 10. Hi L, Selling a house is not “working income”…so that should not affect the social security supplement. As far as a time limit in reinvesting, I would talk to a financial advisor about that…..because as far as I am concerned, that is not a question that I would be comfortable in accurately responding to. Roseanne