Are you Retired from Active Duty (drawing a pension) and have one of these? Then it’s time to earn your Military Service Credit Deposit PhD!
Are you a Federal Employee drawing retired pay from Active Duty Military service? Think there is no way to to receive additional FERS retirement credit for your Active Duty Military service (Military Service Credit), since you are already drawing Active Duty retired pay? Think again- there is a path to have your cake and eat it, too.
Why should you do this?
First, you can obtain additional Fed ‘seniority’ credit for accruing Annual Leave. Annual Leave is valuable because:
(a) It’s paid vacation time and
(b) Upon retiring or resigning from federal service you can sell Annual Leave back “one for one” and get paid for each unused Annual Leave hour at your hourly rate. Continue reading →
Sequestration and the threat of Administrative Furloughs have many FERS employees retiring now and opting for a FERS Deferred Annuity.
OPM reported record retirements once again for the month of February – I’m eating a huge bucket of Kentucky Fried Crow with a side order of humble pie regarding my prediction that few (if any) FERS employees would retire in 2013. February requests to retire outnumbered the requests in January, and furthermore, February retirement requests were up 218 percent versus requests from the same month last year.
This is especially odd when you factor in that most OPM retirement requests occur in batches at the beginning or end of each calendar year.
This matches up with some recent anecdotal evidence I received when I met a fellow FERS employee at an engineering standards training seminar (Don’t worry, Budget Whistleblowers- The training session was was local and no DTS/TDY funds were expended).
As the fellow FERS employee and myself compared notes on how our commands were dealing with the sequestration-driven Administrative Furloughs, he mentioned, “It’s OK- I’ve got my 20 years in and I’m ready to punch out”. Continue reading →
The first Service Computation Date is your SCD Civilian. This date is very straightforward- it is the day you walked in to your department’s HR branch and commenced employment as a federal employee. This date will stay the same unless you have a break in employment in the federal civil service. SCD Civilian is used to calculate benefits such as your FERS life insurance payout formula, which is a gratis life insurance benefit (NOT FEGLI) provided to all FERS employees. I will cover this benefit in a future post.
The second Service Computation Date is the one you are used to seeing once every pay period in the upper right hand corner of your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) if you work for the Department of Defense. This is SCD Leave, used to calculate your accrual of Annual Leave. Accrual rates for annual leave increase based on years of service calculated from SCD Leave. If you are former active military NOT drawing retired pay from active duty, SCD Leave will be ‘back dated’ based on the years and months of service shown on your DD-214. There are special cases where SCD Leave CAN ALSO be back dated for former active duty who ARE drawing retired pay, and I will cover these in a future post.
The third Service Computation Date is SCD RIF. This is the date you will be eligible for early retirement from the FERS system if you are offered an early retirement package like VERA (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority) for an agency-wide reduction or RIF (Reduction if Force) if your employing agency decides to cut your individual position. Under either of these, if you meet the time-in-service requirements you may retire early with full benefits (FEHB health care and a FERS immediate annuity). If you are a veteran who performed a FERS ‘military buyback’ credit for your active duty service, your SCD RIF and SCD Leave should match. It is critical that you verify these dates match after you make a ‘military buyback’ deposit.