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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

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The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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OSUBucs4Evr  
#1 Posted : Friday, May 17, 2019 5:13:43 AM(UTC)
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I recently retired from civil service employment; my last day of work was 28 February 2019. The 2019 civilian pay raise was not authorized until after I retired, and therefore it was not factored into the calculation of my high-3 average salary. I realize the increase in my high-3 will be very minimal, but it does need to be re-computed. I have checked my services online account with OPM, and I see no evidence that anything's being done to recompute it. Can I assume OPM knows they need to recompute high-3 average salaries for everyone who retired after the start of the first payperiod in 2019, or do I need to contact them about this?

In addition, I have not received a retroactive pay increase for the first four payperiods of 2019 that I worked, and I know that the federal agency I worked for did issue retroactive pay increases to their employees on 19 April 2019. I am afraid this has fallen through the cracks and I'm not going to receive that back pay--my pay records were transferred to OPM after I retired, so is my former federal agency even aware that I am owed this back pay, since I am no longer on their roles? Is it now OPM's responsibility to pay me that retroactive pay increase (I thought OPM was only responsible for retirement pay). Who should I contact about this?

Lastly, the AL payout I received as part of my final paycheck was also issued before the 2019 pay raise was approved, so my AL payout also needs to be increased retroactively. Again, who can I contact about getting that additional payout?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Sunday, May 26, 2019 3:56:15 PM(UTC)

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You need to: (1) Contact your former agency (the agency you worked for when you retired Feb. 28, 2019) and tell them you are due: (1) A retroactive pay adjustment of 1.9 percent (if that is what your locality received in a total pay increase) retroactively for the pay periods Jan. 6, 2019 - Feb. 28, 2019) and that an additional 1.9 percent of your lump sum payment for unused annual leave hours also has to be made; (2) Contact OPM at retire@opm.gov and explain that your annuity has to be recomputed based on the fact that that the part of your high-three average salary betweem Jan. 6, 2019 and Feb. 28, 2018 does not currently include the 1.9 percent pay increase and it should, thus increasing your high-three average salary and your annuity.
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