12:36 am, May 28, 2015

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  • 7

  • What? No sky is falling column today?
    Just useful information? who can be unhappy about that? Those of us who are too far away to even think about retiring any time soon. I miss DD already.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • When to submit retirement application
    Many employees believe that if they turn in their retirement applications very early, it will reduce the time period before they recieve their first annuity payment. They think that their agency HR office is the cause of the delay in payments and many don't understand that their HR office is not the one that issues the payments. Just to be clear, as the article stated, the agency won't send the application forward to OPM until the employee's payroll records are closed out after the employee's final salary payment. This may be 2-4 weeks after the retirement effective date. The OPM will generally have the retiree in interim pay status about 2 weeks after they receive the application and payroll records. Final adjudication of the claim may take 6 to 9 months depending on the complexity of the case and if the OPM has all the records it needs initially. The OPM has recently put new application submission procedures in place which should help speed up the adjudication of retirement claims in the near future.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Retirement Paper
    So we tell our agency early and they sit on it until after we are officially gone. Seems like a stupid way to do business to me, but this is government. I just hope my TSP checks begin sooner than my agency gets off its collective behind to put in my retirement paperwork, since it wants me retired next year. Guess I will wait until it gets the ball started, then officially retire. DD hope you are home safe, stayin gov just to help keep them honest. We can't do it all!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I fly WED
    deployed decoy
    I dont land until 48 hours later... Then get to turn in my gas mask at Ft Benning GA at 7AM, then head cross the country... If all stays on schedule I land in PDX at 9PM Friday, 84 hours after I got up WED... Lovely. But the reason I weighed in tonight... MIKE, suggest to your 60YO friend to hang in 2 more years. At 62 YO, FERS gets 1.1% Hi-3. That 2 more years gets her 5% more (assumes 30 Yrs of service) and full SS opposed to some fraction of the FERS SSS for the next 2 years. This all assumes she is FERS. If she is CSRS run for the door, run fast, do NOT look back. As for do it yourself. Yep I did, now I wait to see if HR can... Rather long odds if they can... But the SSS is a WAG. SS assumes last years salary through age 62, no matter what you put in. In my case 56 to 62 is 6 years of zeros not captured. I still have the 40 working years for SSS. but real SS only figures the highest 35... Impossible to put in zeros going forward, so I just divided by 0, then punted on 3rd down for my FERS SSS thing.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • 45,000 backlog is still disgraceful
    Feds can run their own retirement calculations that approximate the annuity quite accurately. At my agency we use a system called Employee Benefit Info System (EBIS). Employees can also open a "help ticket" and the personnel specialists can also run a more accurate calculation depending on whether you are under CSRS or FERS. For FERS employees, you send in your latest SS statement that, with a password, you can retrieve from the Social Security website, and the specialists can include your FERS supplement as well. That being known, it is a slap in the face to retiring Feds that OPM can't seem to get it right for 6-12 months. Yes, there are other circumstances, like divorce or separated service, that can throw a wrench in the calculation, however, many FEDS are "clean" with either straight CSRS for FERS for their career. A retiring Fed with 30+ years of honorable service deserves better.
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  • Do It Yourselft
    I submitted a "help ticket" to get an estimate and it is not as accurate as EBIS. When I was a Benefits Specialist we sent the employee a questionnaire and computed the estimate based on their responses. That is no longer the case. Fortunately I know how to compute my own and there is a $3,000 difference in the hi-3, the sick leave estimate is not even close and I will not be selecting a survivor benefit. I don't expect perfection but what is the point when the only input the employee is allowed to give is the effective date?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Planning, planning - when to go
    Another planning factor to consider is the possibility of getting a buyout. While there has been a lot of coverage regarding agencies' making buyout offers currently, given the uncertain budget situation, combined with the fact that most buyouts tend to be offered early in a fiscal year to mximiz salary savings, there's a good chance that there may be a spate of buyout offers early in FY 2013, beginning on Ocober 1. By putting in retirement papers far in advance, one may lose out on a buyout offer; so you need to be sure you're staying in contact with your HR staff to monitor delopments in this area. Regarding OPM progress on the retirement application processing backog, the agency is still behind the eight-ball due to its procrastination in addressing the problem in the first place. Two years ago, some may recall, retiree constituent complaints regarding delays in receiving their annuities resulted in Congress demanding answers from OPM. Mr. Berry, OPM's Director, admitted that the effort to automate the proceesing function had failed and that OPM had no successor plan then in place to move forward. The last two years have seen OPM trying to play catch up in dealing with a problem they'd allowed to spiral out of control. Had they agency been focused on the retirement program's management as they should have been, this enormous boondoggle would never have arisen.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }