Retirement Q&A May 2011
I recently received and read my retirement package. My question is
about the TSP. Am I right to believe that I can leave my money in
the TSP and take it anytime I want as an annuity? This being either
one, two, five or ten years later. Also, if I send my papers in, to
retire July 31, can I rescind them if I change my mind?
Answer 1. You can leave your $ in TSP until 70 yrs 6 mo (if
retired). Once no longer employed you cannot contribute to TSP
unless you were to move it to another financial vehicle other than
the TSP board. You can withdraw all of it, some of it, or draw an
annuity or even monthly payments within 1 month to 10 years later or
later, again...until 70 and a half. Yes you can rescind your papers
until 5:00pm on July 31st.
Question 2. I was wondering..... Do you.. can you answer
questions of a pay nature... I asked 2 supervisors.. and my union...
Got no answer from any of them!
Answer 2. It depends on the question. I don't have the
ability to look at YOUR info on a postal computer. I'm retired. I am
unable to access USPS records. But other than that, just ask I can
lead you through your form 50's on postalease.
Question 2a. OK thanks..here goes - I am a letter carrier..
when I first got hired back in 94.. I was a level 5 now a level 1...
Then I got a float aka T-6 or level 6,,,, before I got my first step
increase.... So I had to start new waiting period before my next
step increase ... But the weeks I served as a level 5 were not
lost.. They were in , may I say, held in limbo, which I could use
later, if I were to back to a level 5... Well to make a long story
short,,,,,here 2011,, I am still a floater,, level 6,, now a level 2
,,, and I still have weeks in limbo.. I can not remember how many
now....Lets say 20 weeks,,,, Now if I got back to a level 5 or a
level 1 I have to take a pay cut and get level 1 pay... But can I
use the weeks I have in limbo,,,, how ever many weeks I have ,,, 20
maybe? to keep from getting a pay cut and keep getting level 2 pay
for 20 more weeks?
Answer 2a. - Here is what you NEED to do. You need to contact
your local services office at your district office. All offices have
report to a district office.. In your case, I know your city still
has a district office and local services as well. But what you need
is to have a "Step Calculator" applied to your service time. When
going from a level 5/1 to a level 6/2, the weeks that you are
referring to (waiting for the next step) would be reapplied should
you return to level 5/1. If that did not happen then someone either
in your local services office (at the time) or HRSSC did not apply
the step calculator to your time. If local services is the one to do
it for you, trust me, when you call HRSSC they will be quick to tell
you that or at least give you the phone number of your HR
Generalist/Principal (correct title) of who can assist you in this
matter. HRSSC is 1-877-477-3273.
Question 3. -Thank You in advance for taking my question! I
am a CSRS. I have 32 yrs postal service, a year of sick leave and
have bought back 4 years of military service. Until last week's
hearings I was seriously going to stick around 2 more years. Do you
think I should get out now, especially concerning the possible rise
in health care costs?
Answer 3. - I am going to assume that you are waiting around
to be 55? One thing that you may not be aware of, as an annuitant,
the post office still pays an enormous amount of YOUR health
benefits. I know that when employees look at how much the insurance
is when you are a retiree, it seems outrageous. But let me say this,
in 2009, when I retired, I was paying 23.05 per pay period, which is
46.10 per month. When I retired, I began paying 92.88 per month. But
here is the kicker, when I finally received by booklet provided by
OPM after you retire, guess what I found out?? I was paying 92 a
month for health insurance, but the post office was paying 277.45
per month for me as well, and will continue to pay that high amount
for me until I die. Unreal ain't it!! I say that to say your health
benefits are such an good benefit in retirement. Understand that
FEHB is the same insurance of all federal employees, including
congress and the senate. Therefore, we are getting the best of the
best of the best. A rise in health care cost, will increase, but so
will the portion of what OUR agency pays in our behalf.
Question 4 - My dad retired from the USPS in 1988, and died
in 1995. My mother is getting his retirement annuity. She had an
accountant do her taxes in previous years, and they seemed to ignore
what was taxable or not. I now have the task of doing her tax return
for her.Thanks for any help.
Answer 4. There is a portion of the annuity that is NOT
taxable. As an example, a CSRS employee, who put 85,000 into the OPM
retirement system, and say receives 3000. per month. That $3000
monthly amount is only taxed on 2790. per month. When a retiree goes
to get their income tax done (as I have, and as my husband has)
there a place on the 1040 long form that "asks" for the amount of
monies input into the OPM system. There is something on the 1099
that alludes to that. Your father was in the CSRS retirement fund.
Their is a new retirement system for federal employees called FERS.
I am a CSRS, as was your father, so I am reflecting on a CSRS
annuity. As far as a source, I would call HR Block, because they are
the ones that have done my taxes for several years and I sit there
and watch where there is an exception to the money received monthly
for me, because it was already taxed when it was earned. I hope I
have at least given you a place to start. Not sure if you know any
of these numbers, but if you need to contact OPM, the number is
WILL BE IN THE OHIO AREA IN THE SUMMER. PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE
INTERESTED IN AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP COUNSELING.