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Postal Retirement
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 January 2013
Good Day Postal Employees: I hope everyone has had a safe and wonderful holiday. Again another busy month with answering emails and assisting in some very emotional benefit cases out there. I think this will be a very interesting month in the post office. The sheer numbers that are leaving via AWPU early out, will begin to show wear on the post office very quickly if they don't do some type of restructure. I can't imagine it.....but what I hear from MANY MANY OF YOU ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!! is the amount of overtime and penalty time in 2012, especially towards the end of the year, according to you all out was "record-breaking"!! Don't you, those of you that worked it, find it just over the top ODD to have worked all this overtime....why!!?? I thought there was no mail!! So follow that up with the OT and the penalty....and then all the thousands of "early out" employee's walk out the door on Jan 31..... well you tell me! I am sure you will, you all keep me so informed that I am able to relate information like all thinking it's just YOUR office, or YOUR district, or YOUR plant that is the only one's having this ridiculous's all over.

Q. 1 -Hello, I have a FERS retirement question for you. I am an EAS employee who frequently works 6 days a week. When I retire, will the extra pay be added to my annuity or is my annuity based on my base EAS salary only? Thank you for your assistance. MY

A. 1 - No. Your pay records are sent (an electronic transmission) from Eagan (MN where all the salary history is stored). OPM will then recalculate what the true high 3 figure is, and then use that to again recalculate for the monthly annuity. The reason for this is, all annuity estimates are really just a "snap shot" of the last 3 years of form 50 history. Because 95% of annuities are typically the last 3 years of a high average salary. Your annuity is based only on "a yearly salary" (the one on the PS Form 50 in your eOPF); overtime, Sunday Premuim, or Night Differential are not included in the calculations of retirement. Roseanne

Q.2 - Hi Roseanne, I will be taking the Vera on 1/31/13, and continuing the APWU health insurance. Do you know if I have to become a "retired associate member", at $3.00 per month, to be allowed to continue with the Union's health insurance? I was always under the impression that it would just transfer into retirement, and I would be done with paying dues. Thank you for your help-JR

A. 2 - Hi JR, yes you are required to pay an associate membership fee for any Union based health plan. You should contact your local union office to find out how to pay this fee as a retiree, or go on-line to that union's national website for information on the procedures for postal annuitants. I do know that when you are retired you may be required to pay the fee on a yearly basis. Roseanne
Q 3.- Hi Roseanne, I have nearly 30 years in the post office. I want to take the incentive package they are offering to APWU, leaving on January 31st. I will turn 62 on February 28th, and I have been told that my annuity will be calculated at 1.1% when I turn 62. Do you think I should take the incentive, and have my retirement calculated at 1% or wait until March 1 to retire to have my annuity calculate at 1.1%, and give up getting the $15,000. incentive? Undecided

A 3.- Hi Undecided, It is all determined by your high 3 average salary and the number of years that you have worked. With nearly 30 years and just using an average Hi-3 salary of 55,000, for 29 years (and of course with the incentive..10 G's this year (2013) and 5 G's (2014) your FERS gross monthly annuity would be a $1329.00 versus $1463.00; if you waited until age 62 with the 1.1% calculation. This is just an example using that 55 as the high 3 average salary. Roseanne

Q 4.- Hey, Roseanne, I retired in 2009 under VERA, and I was a FERS employee. I was 55 years old with 24 years of service. There is no any increment or cola adjustment to my retirement up to 62 years of age. Will the OPM adjust cola or any increment to my retirement benefits for the past years, when I becomes 62 years old?

A 4.- Hi, After your retirement is/was completed, EVERYONE gets a 5x7 blue &white pamphlet, titled " YOUR FEDERAL RETIREMENT BENEFITS". This indicated that your retirement was complete, and all of the selections that you made on your retirement papers are consolidated in that blue pamphlet. It relates all information pertaining to YOUR retirement fund. OPM suggests that you keep that booklet with all of your important papers such as wills, etc. when you received this completed booklet from OPM. In the back of that book it outlines the information about COLA adjustments as it relates to FERS employees. Roseanne

Q 5.- Roseanne, I retired civil service in 2006, I turned 65 this past August and noticed that they stopped taking out the life insurance payment. does that mean I no longer have any life insurance? Thanks J

A 5. - Hi J, When you turn 65, if you have taken basic life insurance into retirement at the 75% reduction factor, (and also if you selected Option A), the premium stops (at age 65)...but then your insurance (which Basic began at your salary at retirement, rounded up to the nearest thousand, plus 2,000.) begins to reduce by 2% per month, until it reaches 25% of it's original value, so yes you still have life insurance, just not at the same amount as it was when you retired, it's one fourth of the original value. If you selected Option A (10,000) into retirement, it also reduces the same way and it will be 2,500 at around age 68. It too takes about 3 years on the reduction. Roseanne

Q 6. - Hello Roseanne, Does a retired Civil Service employee pay into social security if they go back to work as a PMR? I already have 34 quarters already paid into social security, will going back to work as a PMR for 6 more quarters give me the 40 quarters needed to collect SS? Thanks F

A 6.- Hi F, Yes, social security is taken out. As a PMR you are not a career employee so there is no retirement fund. Anything you add to the SS fund will add up to 40 if you are short. Be sure you are aware of the CSRS factors when working as a PMR while being a CSRS annuitant. There is a limitation to the number of days you can work, without it having an effect on your CSRS annuity check. Roseanne

Q 7.- Hey Roseanne, just wondering if you have any info from other retired PM about this. Reached my MRA on Nov 28th and my annuity statement for Jan 1 2013 does not reflect supplemental. Needless to say that calling OPM is insane and waiting for an email response is the same. Obviously it was not on my Dec pay either. My claim was finalized on Dec 10th and I retired July31st. Thank you, Retired Postmaster

A 7.- Hi Retired Postmaster, First thing is...I don't think that an annuity statement WILL EVER reflect the special supplement. The special supplement is not a factor in the calculations of your federal retirement (FERS or CSRS). But let's take this apart so you are not stressed. If you reached your MRA on Nov 28th, that means you are eligible for the supplement in December....HOWEVER...just like your annuity check, and social security check too, you are paid on the following month. So you are eligible in December,, which is paid for in ain't late yet buddy. Roseanne

Till we speak again......Roseanne

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