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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 January 2014
 Good Day Postal Employees�.and Happy New Year!!

As always, I thank you all for your continued prayers for Hope. We are still at the same place we were last month, she is taking daily radiation treatments. We all are praying for a full recovery, and with all of the prayers out there, I am sure of it!!!

When I began writing this column, I was committed to giving you the best information and the most correct. I have said many times I don't know everything�.almost, but not everything! And when I am wrong, I am the first one to admit it�.so I begin my January column by saying I gave a very incomplete & incorrect answer last month to question number 1, in the December 2013 column. My head knew what I was saying, but I most certainly did not type it that way.

This is an excerpt from last month's column about transferring money into TSP.

PART OF Q 1. "also have heard that you can transfer your IRA�s to the TSP Account. Would you have to pay taxes first on any Traditional IRA transfer to the TSP".

PART OF A 1. "And to respond to your second question, that is a flat out NO!! You can NEVER EVER put money into the TSP account. That is monitored money, because no taxes have even been paid on that money".

That answer was wrong in response. My intention was to communicate that just MONEY cannot be put into the TSP account because of the tax issues surrounding the money in TSP, and the monitoring of that money. But, as a couple of readers pointed out, transferring from another IRA or Roth is permitted. Please see the information below taken directly from the TSP website. So thank you Wayne for keeping me on track. I will sometimes sanitize an email, due to an obvious link to an area or specific post office that the question comes from, and may have dropped off a piece of information that would have made my answer correct, in "sanitizing" the email for that purpose. BUT not in this case� intent was right, my words were not�..please read below:

Whether you are a current Federal employee or member of the uniformed services, or you've already separated, you can move money from other eligible plans to your TSP account.
Eligibility Requirements
The TSP requires that:

You have an existing TSP account. You cannot open a TSP account by transferring money into it.
The money that you intend to move is considered an �eligible rollover distribution� for Federal income tax purposes. You can verify this by checking with the administrator of the plan or IRA from which you are moving the money. You can also consult a tax advisor.

The TSP will accept into the traditional balance of your TSP account:

both transfers and rollovers of tax-deferred money from traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and eligible employer plans.

The TSP will accept into the Roth balance of your TSP account:

only transfers (i.e., direct rollovers) of qualified and non-qualified Roth distributions from Roth 401(k)s, Roth 403(b)s, and Roth 457(b)s. If you don�t already have a Roth balance in your existing TSP account, the transfer will create one.

The TSP will not accept Roth rollovers that have already been paid to you and it will not accept transfers or rollovers from Roth IRAs.

Q 1. Hi Roseanne, I have been a postal employee for 27 years, (I am a FERS employee), and I have over 4 years of active military (Army) that I did finally pay back. I really wish you would have told me when I first started at the post office about the advantage to paying back my military, and the benefit of paying it back within the first three years of employment. The initial deposit was reasonable, however the accumulated interest over 20+ years was outrageous. Of course as many do, I did pay it back over the course of several years through payroll deduction. But I feel like, as do many of my co-workers, we should not have to pay the interest if we were not informed about it when we were hired. It seems that it was deliberately missing from orientation, and you did not, nor did anyone in the personnel office ever sent out information, letting us employees know if they have military time, that it could "SHORTEN" the time we have to work until retirement. We think it was purposeful that we were not told, so we would HAVE to pay interest to the post office. Is there anyway to find out if the Post Office has some responsibility in not giving us this information so we could have paid it the first 3 years we were working. Thank you for all that you do for us at the post office. P'O'd

A 1. Hi P'O'd, Well you are not the first person to ask me about this subject, nor will you be the last either. However, let me address this line "I really wish you would have told me, when I first started at the post office about the advantages�.." WOW!! I DIDN'T HIRE YOU!!! (I know better than anyone where I have worked, and based on your email of where you were hired and where you still work, well �I have never even been to your state)!!

I cannot say why you were not told, because it was a part of orientation when employees are first hired. I can say that the time allotted for New Hire Orientation has been dramatically reduced over the years. When I was hired, orientation was 6 FULL 8 hour days�.what is it now�..6 hours, on one day�.maybe. So that plays a huge part in employees having a serious lack of understanding rights and benefits in their employment. The closer to the 1980's that you were hired, versus being hired in the years beginning around 2000, shows a marked decrease in employee's understanding of employment issues, which is really another way of saying less time in orientation means less knowledge about employee rights and benefits. As well as understanding the rights of the Postal Service as your EMPLOYER. The responsibility, it will ALWAYS fall on the employee to find out what they need to know about their employment. Every district in the country can show over the years, attempts to "inform" employees, in many different ways about benefits, and other employee related issues. This was the entire reasoning behind the "Career Awareness Conferences" that were really big during the 90's. The one's where you signed up, and there were classes on subjects like "How to fill out a 991"; "Upward Mobility"; "Retirement"; "TSP" etc. So if you are looking to apply or seek some way of being refunded the interest you paid on your military buy back, because as you say you were not informed, (and I do believe you); that is just NOT going to happen. Instead of looking at it that way, as a negative, look at it another way, as a positive�.you didn't even know that you could pay it back, and then when you did, regardless of how much it cost, it allows you to retire 4 years earlier then you would if you didn't know, and didn't pay it back.
 PLAINLY SAID�.you are not going to be refunded the interest. As you can see, I did "clean up" the email you sent to me. I could have NEVER reprinted that email as it was written. Typically, readers know I do "sanitize" their emails if I am going to use them in a column. And by sanitize I mean I take out things like "I work at the NDC in Whoville, USA", or "I am a carrier at the ABC unit in, Junkville, USA"�because I want there to be a sense of confidentiality when writing me. BUT YOURS�.I needed Pinesol. However, the subject matter of the email was important enough for others to read and know. Roseanne

Q 2. Roseanne, First off, thank you for the much needed assistance you provide. It is so very much appreciated. I just wanted to get clarification: my situation in April 2014, I will have 30 years (27 actual USPS and 3 military buy back). In Sept 2014 I will turn 56, which is my MRA. If I chose to retire after those two milestones, would I qualify for the FERS Supplement (paid until age 62) with amount based on 27 work years in FERS? Again, thank you so much Roseanne!!

A 2. Yes. You are paid your supplement provided you retire with 30 years and be your MRA. If you have 27 postal years and paid for 3 military years, then yes you have 30 years and are eligible. Do understand that your supplement would be based on the 27 years of postal service, and will paid until you are 61 and 11 months�.and then your eligibility begins for Social Security and your eligibility ends for the Special Supplement. Roseanne

Q 3. Hi Roseanne, I have written to you before and you helped me understand some really tough issues about disability retirement, and I want to thank you for that. I don't know where I would be if you had not guided me in the right path. Well, I was approved for disability retirement. I just recently received a letter from Social Security Administration that effective June 1, 2014, I will be enrolled in Medicare A & B. I did keep my health plan (BCBS) and that SS will be my primary and BCBS will be my secondary. In your experiences do you know any reason to enroll in Part B, this will cost me an additional $125.00 per month, come June 2014, since I have private insurance (BCBS). Will I need to contact BCBS and find out if I have to enroll in Part B? I read the book regarding the penalties if I do or I do not enroll in Part B. Or is this something new because of ACA. Look forward to your advice. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family. TRS

A 3. Hi TRS, In so many cases, as I always say, there are no cookie cutter answers. In your case it just may be (if you are a FERS employee) and you have been approved for Disability Retirement AND approved for Social Security disability (SSDI); that a "requirement" of SSDI in conjunction with disability from the OPM, that YOU HAVE to be enrolled in Part B. I need to know this�.you retired disability from the PO, but were you approved SS disability? If not, did you begin your SS at age 62. I need to know that before I can be confident enough in my answer. Thank you, and have wonderful Christmas at your house!!! Roseanne
Q 4. Hello Roseanne, I am sorry to bother you but I've seen where you have helped out so many with questions before. My dilemma is I retired with the APWU Clerk early out on 1/31/2013. I turned 56 years old on 11/02/2013, and as of this date 12/04/2013, I haven't received any payment of my FERS special supplement. do you have any direction or information for me. Of course I tried to phone and email OPM with no success. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Yours Truly, J

A 4. Hi J, Well the first thing is, it does takes longer for the Special Supplement to begin!! Even if you were 56 when you retired, the Special Supplement would have taken longer to begin than the regular FERS retirement check, so don't stress over that. AND�..Let me say this first�.don't shoot the messenger!! If you turned 56 on November 2, then you are not eligible for the supplement until December. That being said, December's payment, just like your annuity is paid one month in arrears�.so your Spec. Supplement is not EVEN due until January. I am NOT saying that is when it is coming, because they do take longer�.but you're not due for a payment until January. I said don't shoot the messenger. If you don't have it by Feb or March, email me and we can have another discussion about this, but I think you will have it by then. Have a wonderful Christmas!! Roseanne

R 4. Roseanne, thank you so much for that quick answer. I appreciate the candor and the honesty�..hard to find now a days!! J

Q 5. Hi Roseanne, I would like for you to do my retirement papers. Do you have an address that I can mail something to you? DMR

A. 5. Hi DMR, "Jefferson's Chimes of Knowledge" PO Box 212, Whitsett, NC 27377-0212

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE !!!! Till we speak again�����Roseanne

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