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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 July 2013
Good Day Postal Employees!

This column will begin again, with a sincere thank you for all of the prayers and concern, expressed for my daughter. We are on a second phase of this horrible disease cancer, and this is not an easy journey, at all.

This month's column and what you see below has me speechless!! I would like to begin this column by actually showing you something I felt was very disturbing, and a brand new "feature" at this website. See if you caught what floored me when I read it.
While on the phone this past weekend, I was looking at the TSP website, to get an overall picture of how much of an "annuity" would be. As I had given her the dollar figures of FERS and Special Supplement, I proceeded to to the TSP website, clicked on the icon I ALWAYS DO. Something just looked different, and to my utter shock�.. in between the two blue i's reads "TO WHAT AGE TO YOU EXPECT TO LIVE?" This to me was appalling�that a government calculator, a way to simply figure out what one component of your retirement money will be �asks YOU, basically, give them an idea of when you think you are going to die�they didn't even ask you to ballpark it�they want just one age�are you kidding me!! As a federal (former) employee, this new change to the TSP calculator will do precisely what the change was intended to do�frustrate you so you don't even bother to try to figure it out.

AND you won't complain, won't let your voices be heard on how ridiculous and confusing this new calculator is (if that is what you want to call it) to determine your monthly annuity. Oh, providing you give THEM an age you think you will die. I guess I am wondering if you are seeing a pattern here. More lack of information, less knowledgeable people to ask. Now - you don't really have a on-site personnel office, and the so called "tools" that are "on-line" as they say, have made the process of even trying to research impossible. If I had not been going into the TSP website for years, I wouldn't have known just how drastically it has changed in this ONE AREA!!!! I would hope that this does not go unchecked. It's a very easy way to be BS'd about YOUR money�.Yea�.Its YOUR MONEY!! This is not information (TSP) that will be discussed on a "HRSSC retirement session", nor will Social Security, Medicare or the Special Supplement�.because you if don't care enough to complain, care enough to know if your MONEY IS RIGHT, when it comes time to retire you may have wished you would of��just sayin'

Q 1. Good Evening Roseanne, My husband just retired as of 5/31/2013 and we haven't heard from OPM yet, but I have a question. Is our Life Insurance Benefits, Dental and Medical Insurance still in force until premiums are taken out of our first OPM check? Thank for your help. VT
A 1. Hi VT, Everything WILL transfer over providing you filled out all the paperwork, which was sent to you in the blue retirement booklet. Your Health Benefits AUTOMATICALLY transfer UNLESS you do something to stop it. Life insurance continues based upon what you selected during the retirement PHONE session w/HRSSC (& on the form SF2818). That form was in your big blue retirement booklet. Hopefully, as tell everyone, you made a copy of your retirement paperwork. Check in those copies to see what you selected for life insurance into retirement, and congratulations on retirement!!! Roseanne

Q 2. Roseanne...the lady with all the answers. I retired in January...all my papers are in order..everything is going smooth. I have a question about my incentive check. The union stated they would be deducting social security tax on this check. Looking over the check stub i see no deduction for fica. I 'm confused did they make a mistake or am I missing something? Who can I call to find out?

A 2. Hi, The first thing would ask is�.where is/was the check from? OPM; Postal Srvc? I say from the Postal Service, I would inquire with other retirees to see if they had SS deducted from their checks ( and I suspect no). But you wanted the lady with the answers�so here is my take on this: Knowledge of the system(s) and how they work, my 30+years in this, and intuition tells me flat out NOT�.they would not be taking SS out of the incentive checks..but you probably would like to know why I say that. Because it's too much work to segregate FERS and CSRS retiree''s as only FERS employee's have Social Security taken from their check..CSRS employee's/retiree's didn't and don't pay into the Social Security fund. They are only going to do what takes as little as "input" as possible. This is the same reason why OPM does not take out state taxes out for those retiree's who live in state's that tax federal annuities�.It's now really YOUR responsibility. Look at it this way, the federal government is NOT going to set up state tax's for all 50 states.

Q 3. I sent this to your yahoo address: Hello Roseanne, I retired from the Postal service on 06-01-2013, as a FERS employee. On June 6, 2013 I went and picked up my final check, (they would not direct deposit it). My earned annual leave balance wasn't included on that check. The supervisor who gave me the check told me that it would be issued at a later date. The retirement paperwork that I received from Human Resources stated that my earned annual leave balance would be included on my final check until some was amiss. I am wondering what the heck the deal is. Any experience regarding this situation? Thank you in advance..

A 3. Hi - I wrote about this same exact issue, let me quote from my article in the February 2013 column of postalmag: "There are many changes that have taken place over the past few months as it relates to retirement. I am here to tell you the truth, it may not be what you want to hear, but it's the truth. First, the changes that have taken place have to do with your last paycheck and earned annual leave when you retire. For years, like clock work, your last pay (or what ever few work hours you had in the last pay period) and your earned annual was paid to you on the payday after you left. That last check is a paper check, not deposited into your checking account because there was/is no connectivity between you and the post office any longer after your retirement form 50 was/is cut. That last pay check was sent to your employing office for you to either pick it up, or have it mailed to you. I call that OLD SCHOOL. The brighter stars in the post office have decided that since "some employees" and I do mean "JUST some" have retired owing the post office money, and due to those few, they are now holding those last pay/annual leave checks approximately 30 days or so, to see if you owe them 15 cents! They are still paper checks, you still have to pick them up, but now you need to call (I would every Friday) to see if your last pay check is at your employing office for pick up. The employees that owe money range from window clerks who retire with "short" cash drawer, or if you retired in July, and used all 208 hours advanced to you in the beginning of the year (that if you retired in July you were only eligible for 104), or maybe were advanced leave (way too rare but possible) and used it, and then retired. OLD SCHOOL, in that case they would go to OPM, so that OPM could collect the money from the annuity to pay back the post office, or hold the paycheck until you pay the discrepancy, and then the check would be released to you. Now you have to wait an additional 2-3 weeks to get your last pay check. JUST delivering the message!! I am so sure no one told you that... but that is how it is now. Since I can remember, this was how last pay was handled. It gave you some breathing room in terms of money, waiting for the interim checks to begin from OPM. Many of you have spent years trying to gather sufficient leave, so that you would have a financial cushion when retiring, knowing that there is a delay in the "Interim Checks" from OPM. But at no time, has the delay been as bad as it is now. You have ONE office handling thousands of retirements, and the numbers of employees that work in RETIREMENT at HRSSC is a very small number, too small to tell you, without you all flipping out! But I suppose I don't have to tell you that... how many of you really got that phone call back from them, when you left your phone number because no one answered the phone, and required you to leave a call back number??? No need for me to tell you... you all tell me the horror stories". So that is what I wrote in February, and this information still holds true. Roseanne

Q 4. Hi my name is H. and my Dad has been retired from the Post Office for many years. He has just gone into a nursing home and we are now applying for medicare for him. We have been advised to have the Post Office stop taking out fed taxes from his pension. How do we go about this? Is there a form we can request? If so how do we get the form? Also we were told to get a statement that breaks down his pension payments, to show whatever is taken out of it? How would we go about getting this as well. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

A 4. I am not sure how this would or could occur that OPM would "suspend" or stop taking federal taxes out of his pension check. I will assume this question being posed to me because with your father, being in a nursing home, and the application for "medicare Part B", ( I assume) means that his retirement check or pension is being entirely used for his daily care, and perhaps turned over entirely to the nursing home�maybe? I am not familiar enough with this to give you guidance�I just, (from my experience) I don't think that OPM will NOT take any taxes out,although it is possible. Nor do I know if or how they would "redirect" an annuity check, say to a nursing home. I have never dealt and would appreciate you keeping me updated on how this turns out. But your first order of business is to start with OPM. Their phone number is 1-888-767-6738. That office is in Boyers, PA. There is also the HQ office in DC, but start with this phone number first. Your father has an CSA number, that identifies him with OPM. Not knowing how old your father is or if he ever went "on-line" to do any financial changes with OPM, it probably would not do you any good to look for his blue and white pamphlet from OPM (which was mailed to him after he retired with information for just this purpose). It really contains the same contact information I am giving you here. Good luck, and please let me know how this turns out. Also I am going to assume your father was a CSRS retiree, and just so you know, there is a basic life insurance "policy" that he has a retiree. Provided he is over 65, it is free. This is just as information in case you did not know. Be assured, OPM has all this information. Roseanne

Q 5. Hi Roseanne, I hope your daughter is doing better. That illness is so hard, feeling so helpless. A positive attitude has helped me immeasurably. I'm a cancer survivor since 1974 with three serious bouts (1974, 1997, and 1999). With the right doctors and treatment as well as support from family and friends, I believe in success Now for my question. I cannot believe this can be true. A supervisor was telling me she planned to work 15 more years to get to 43+ years. When I asked why, she said she would get 85% of her salary in her pension. I asked if she was CSRS and she said no, FERS. She said that FERS retirement changed recently and you can get up to 85% of your salary. I told her I knew about the change to sick leave accrual for 50% until the end of the year and full credit beginning 2014. I told her I only knew about 1% per year unless you retire at age 62 or older with 20 years, then it's 1.1%. Not that I plan to work for 43 years, but is there any truth to her information. Thanks again and I wish all the best for your daughter.

A 5. First congratulations on being a survivor, I see the battle almost first hand, and can only be amazed at all of those that have the strength it takes to fight this fight. AS - to your question�.As always most of what I do is generally tell people they are wrong (as it relates to what they think or talk about federal retirement); and in this too, that is bad information. Even CSRS retirement has a cap of 80%. You are correct 1% and after age 62 it's calculated at 1.1%. Again there are alwaysexceptions to the rules, as an example if a CSRS employee had over 41 11 and then had over 1.5 yrs of sick leave, in that case then YES, the calculation would be about 83% of that employee's high 3. Take care, Roseanne�������Till we speak again��..Roseanne

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