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Information on this page is provided by Roseanne Jefferson. 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
Postal Retirement Q&A April 2013
Good Day Postal Employees!! This month's column will have mostly Q & A's as the format. I have been in Ohio for the past couple of weeks with serious family illness. I would like to sent a big "THANK YOU" to the Euclid Post Office (OH) for being so concerned and helpful with a piece of Express Mail, that I needed by 11:35 am. It was guaranteed for 10:00 am, & I was at the Post Office when they opened. They actually put up with me standing there in lobby (in tears), for over an hour waiting on this express mail, all without thinking I was deranged. And of course, many thanks to the Whitsett Post Office (NC) for their assistance in this family crisis.

To those of you that have written me this month, I know I have not been my NORMAL speedy responder, or have a "limitation of explanation" in my responses. Life has a way of throwing you curve balls when you least expect it�my husband calls them "variables". Our 40 year old daughter has stage 3 breast cancer, and nothing has been normal since we had the news. So my time has been between there and here. And for those of you who wrote me..the responses were really difficult to "type" on just an iPhone. If it made no sense in my response to you, email me again and I will try to give more than an abbreviated answer. Again, I am learning a new normal of being prepared. I would humbly request that you would keep my family in your prayers during this very difficult time, we �.really appreciate it!
 Q 1. I would like to point out an error you made on your report for march 2013; you said � ...second letter from OPM with the CSA or CSF number depending if employee was CSRS or FERS�...the issue is a CSF number is only issued to a survivor. I point this out because people are quoting you. MC
A 1. Hi MC, First thank you for reading the column! AND thank you for pointing out my error and choice of words. After I read your email, I went back to look to see what I wrote and THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POINTING THAT OUT. In my answer to the reader (which is what I take copy and paste into the newsletter) that answer had a continuation. In doing the cut & paste change the arrangement of the words, changed and some were gone, as in the case that CSF is for the survivor.
I say this to say..I am all about giving the right information, postal employees get too much BS and bad information and have for years, that I try to give them what is correct. I am grateful if someone finds something that they think is incorrect�.because doing this over 30 years, I have come to know when someone tells you something that they think is wrong, it's best to recheck and not be so "I know what I am talking about" because things change quickly in regulations; sometimes that everyone does not have the access to see or was not explained enough for the reader to understand. My retired postmaster husband tells me all the time, that I assume too much, in terms of what I think everyone "should already know" just by being a postal employee. Many times when we both worked I would say "how in the world would you NOT know this, you are EAS/Management"�his reply was typically..I am not supposed to know that, you are�you are HR,. my job is to get my employees out on the street with no accidents and mail delivered on time�with a few other words "sprinkled" in there :). So MC YOU MADE the column for next month. Of course this will let everyone know that was not the complete information and will set that straight. Believe me, I do appreciate this email. Keep reading my friend!! Roseanne
Q 2. Hey Roseanne, I read your column on I am planning on retiring at the end of 2013 or beginning of January 2014. I am a CSRS employee, start date 01/1979. I am 66 years old, and started collecting Soc Sec benefits beginning January 2013. I want to have 35 years of service when I retire. I have right now about 2 months of sick leave on the books (370 hours). I have a couple of questions that I can't seem to find out answers to. I am a Dist/window clerk. Recently promoted to Lead Clerk. I had 8 years of part time service from January 1979 until sometime in 1986 while I was working in KY. I worked in Louisiana Post Office before attaining full time status in LA. If I understand correctly, the part time status in the Kentucky will be credited as full time because it happened before the law changed in 1986, Is that correct?
Most of my ptf s hours were more than 40 hours per week...especially in Louisiana.

   1) As I am collecting my full SS benefit now while I am still working, I can't seem to find out when that amount will drop, and about what percent of my SS benefit will I be able to collect as a CSRS retiree when I am retired. Does the amount become less when I turn in my retirement papers, or the effective date of my retirement.??
   2) Is it better to have your sick leave added to your retirement time or use before leaving the service. I have right now about 2 months worth of sick time credited to me(370 hours). By the time I leave at the end of 2013 or early 2014 I will have approx. 100 more hours if I use a minimum of my S/L during this year (dr appts).
   3) will the part times hours I worked be credited for retirement as the number of hours I worked (mostly over 40 hours) (I know I don't get overtime credited to retirement) or just because I was part time do I get a lesser amount of $$ for the time I was in Part time status?
   4) Should I leave and retire at the end of December 2013 (chart says Dec 29th is best day to retire) under CSRS or should I wait for the first three days of January to leave? Most papers say that CSRS should retire the first 3 days of the month. Since my anniversary date if January 27th, do I need to leave after that date or will my 2 months of sick time count to make my 35 years of service. Sorry, these may seem to be dumb questions, but I can't seem to find the answers to them anywhere. SG
   A. 2 Hi SG, No question is dumb! When we are looking at retirement and our money and this being the probable last big financial decision we are going to make, you need to be armed with as much information as possible.
OPM is the deciding entity that will review your pay records (that are forwarded from Eagan, MN when you retire). There are calculations that are applied to the years of service seeing the percentage of full time versus part time and of course how many hours worked as a part time employee. All of it is credible and calculated. NOW!!! on question number 1. YOUR SS CHECK is going to be reduced DRAMATICALLY!! when you retire. It just is�I know you don't like this�.nor does my husband! But when you have a CSRS retirement check, due to the Windfall Elimination, Social Security is reduced by about 40%, so expect a reduction when you retire. On question 2, you have enough sick leave really as a "protection". The amount that you have won't seriously increase your annuity, but it is not going to be lost either. So if you need it USE IT, but don't just waste it, as it is added to the overall retirement. Again, it's not enough to worry about "keeping" if you really need it. Question 3 was pretty much answered above. Question 4. My advice would be to retire on Jan 3. WHY? First because you can retire up to the 3rd of the month (as a CSRS ONLY!!!) and still be eligible for an annuity in January�but the 3rd is a Friday and gives you 1/2 of pay earning 2 hours of sick leave and 4 hours of annual. Understand when I say Jan 3 or even if it were Dec does not mean that you MUST BE AT WORK THOSE DAYS!! You can use annual or sick leave (in case you did not know). I do Air Mail retirements for those employees who are no where near me (in North Carolina); many from HQ just drive down to see me, and in the cases that I have done, so many even after reading the annuity estimate and review the blue retirement booklet feel like a deer in headlights. However if you are interested in me doing your retirement, please let me know and I will send you the information. I have done for many across the country, so I know it can be confusing and very intimidating. I hope this information has helped you understand a bit more. Roseanne
Q 3. Hi, I worked for the Post Office in one of the borough's in New York for about 3 months during probation, in which I was cut a couple of days early of making the Union because they said they only needed one guy at the time which I thought was bull, but it's in the past. This happened about 12 years ago my question is while I was working there I filled out pension forms & was wondering can I get back what I put in during those 3 months I was there ? And if I do, who do I call to receive these funds ? Sincerely, MO
A 3. Hi MO, It very much depends on if you were "actually a career employee" during that probationary period. Many times employees called Transitional's or TE's were hired, that HAD a probationary period associated with that occupation code BUT were NOT considered "CAREER" which is the optimum word that "tells the whole story"� Many District office's all around the country did kinda their own thing on certain hiring issues, based on what "AREA" they reported to, told them to do�.so it really depends. If I had not been doing this for so long, I would look at the question and say "3 months to me" and then answer. But from what I see even the offices that had district personnel offices (basically forever�or pre-HRSSC) were staffed many times with the "good ole girls or good ole boys", (who really didn't know jackshit about Personnel) because it always seemed HR was an easy drop off place (or hiding place) when they put an EAS employee on "blast" or "punishment", or some funky assignment that screams�.I PISSED SOMEONE OFF ! But it is worth a try, if you think you were career, then contact OPM at 1-888-767-6738 or go to the website to see the forms. If you go to go to "forms", then "standard forms", then SF 3106 and follow the instructions on the form. If you have any money, and it really couldn't be much, but if you did, OPM would refund it, and bottom line, it's yours. Roseanne
FOLLOW UP TO THIS QUESTION�.BY ME..ROSEANNE� YOU all could not have possibly thought that what I said in answer # 3, was frivolous or untrue about EAS employee's being on "punishment" or blast, or even the famous "dipshit assignment" ..then you don't know any EAS employees, that's all. YEP�.I could tell ya stories, upon stories, upon stories!!!!!��but back to the Q and A's.
Q 4. Hi Roseanne, Just read your Q & A that I always wait for each month. Even though husband just retired on Jan 31, you will always be a fountain of good information! You've always have helped us with questions we had before (old email address), I am his wife.
Just wanted to give you his timeline in case you were interested. As another example per say.
   Jan 31 - Retired
   Feb 19 - Full Terminal Check received (456 hours)
   Feb 25 - Letter from OPM with Claim # (separate from password letter)
   Feb 25 - Letter from OPM with Password (separate from claim # envelope)
   Feb 26 - Letter from OPM regarding Interim Payment, the gross amt, less taxes, and the amt to be deposited (From 2-01 thru 2/30)
   March 1 - First retirement check deposited!!
He got approx 78% of my estimated retirement amount. So far so good!! I too read postalmag blog & am hearing different stories.
We have a question that I think a lot of us are concerned about. Just wanted your thoughts. The PMG wants to pull us all out out FEHB. Including current retirees. Someone mentioned that he said specifically stated current retirees several times in his address or statement to congress. He wants us too! What do you think the chances of that happening are? We are very concerned. I, as a contractor work for several companies, I hear all the time how the employer has changed the health care plan & the employees rates, family rates have skyrocketed when they were told by the employer it would be better for them. One company I go to - actually took away the Kaiser Permanente HMO Plan that many of these employees of lower wages really liked & felt it the costs were very reasonable. I just don't see how taking us out of FEHB will benefit anyone but the USPS. I appreciate your thoughts if you get the time. I know you are in high demand:):) IJ
A 4. Hi I, EXCELLENT!! I just love when my information bears out. When I wrote the time line that is in the column, I extend it out a bit. For each answer sometimes comes a "specific" date, based upon when the employee mails the retirement paperwork to HRSSC (that plays an enormous part in the time line dates). Based upon what you have written and the dates of your husband's letters and money from OPM, that tells me the paperwork was in TIMELY!
Now on to the question of FEHB and the PMG wanting to pull the MONEY plug on FEHB. There is a huge difference between the PO and just another employer, as PO is a federal organization as you related one company took away Kaiser HMO. That being said, the number of federal retirees (postal or other fed agency) have their "employing agency" paying a large part (nearly 2/3rds) of the health premium to the carrier (BCBS; APWU: GEHA etc) each month.

In the case of the PO, they have to pay that monthly premium 10 years in advance. So�take BCBS for an example (104); the cost to the PO when that person retires is about $110 thousand UP FRONT, whereas other federal agencies pay it monthly. This is the BITCH of the post office, and I can understand it, but I also understand other surrounding issues of it that makes it not so horrible�meaning when folks turn 65, many just take Medicare Part B (because they think it's going to be cheaper than FEHB (and it is) but the coverage is no where like FEHB) and then cancel the FEHB, and then the PO has a "CREDIT" of the money paid in advance. I say all that to say�right now I am NOT worried about it�BUT WHEN AND IF I DO WORRY, YOU CAN BEST BELIEVE I WILL BE "ATTACKING IT" IN MY COLUMN. You guys have a great and wonderful retirement, if he has gotten there, he like many of us, has the battle scars to prove it�and it is well deserved. Take care I, Roseanne
Q 5. Hi Roseanna, I retired Jan. 31, 2013. Then 2 weeks later I received my last paycheck I picked up at PO. They didn't have my 39 hours of annual on it. It is now March 10, 2013 still no annual. My question is whom do I contact about it or will it go to PO where I last worked? Thank you so much for your column every month. I really appreciate it a lot. Thank you!! F
A 5. Hi F, Your final "earned" annual leave check should be at your "employing" post office by now. I would call your former immediate supervisor /postmaster /manager/ OR even the timekeeping office, just to see if your check has come in. Again, understand that you are no longer employed by USPS. That means any monies owed to you will be a check that you have to pick up or be mailed - It will not be deposited into your account, as there is no longer an electronic connectivity between you and the post office. Roseanne
Q 6. Hi Roseanne, Myself and two co-workers attended a Retirement "session" at BIG SOUTHERN STATE a few months ago. We knew the guy was selling insurance, but we thought we would at least go and see what he would tell us. Much to our surprise we were the only three in the room! But then several clerks came in and he had to switch his attention to them because of their VERA. When he did talk to us he quickly mentioned something about a supplement until 62 if we retired at 56 with 30 years service. How does this work? Two of us are eligible for full Social Security benefits at 67 and not 62. And we are all FERS. (1) Age 51 w/26 yrs; (2) Age 51 w/28 yrs; (3) Age 60 W/26 yrs. Thank you so much for any help. D
A 6. Hi D, If you are FERS employee's: 1. The Special Supplement is a "bridge" of money paid to (only FERS) to "supplement) a portion of the Social Security that you are not eligible for until 62)). AND 2. The supplement is calculated at around $33.00 per month X the numbers of years worked (not including military regardless if paid back or not). So if you retire w/20 yrs. the Spec Support is around $660.00 per month; 30 yrs. around $990.00 per month. THIS IS PAID ONLY UNTIL AGE 62!!!! Then you are to begin to collect your Social Security checks. I hope this has helped all you girls in "the peachy land". I have had several clients drive from there to meet for a one on one face to face individual retirement session.... think about it! Roseanne

Till we speak again����.Roseanne

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