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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.

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pantages  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3:27:36 PM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 5/25/2013(UTC)
Posts: 5

Thanks: 1 times
I was rehired a year ago and all indications are that I should fall under FERS FRAE; however, my SF-50 has "K" in Block 30. I've researched why my HR would've put me under FERS Regular, but I haven't been able to find anything. I have 11.5 years of military service, but buying back military time doesn't count towards determining coverage for FERS. I have 4 years and 7 months of civil service, but I left government in 2010 and didn't come back until last year.

That leaves me with some questions:

1. Is there something else that would've put me in FERS Regular? I was a Direct Hire if that makes any difference.

2. If it's an error on HR's part, is their decision final meaning it wouldn't be changed even if I bring it to their attention?

3. If I don't say anything, would they catch the oversight when I file for retirement and I'd be forced to pay back the overpayment of salary/underpayment to FERS FRAE?

4. Is keeping my mouth shut illegal or unethical? I admit I'm tempted to not say anything so that I can set aside that extra money to invest, and hope to get returns greater than 3.6% (4.4% - 0.8%). I'd then pay back the overpayment, assuming I have to, when I file for retirement.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3:38:23 PM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

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Given the fact you left federal service before 2014 with less than five years of federal service and returned to federal service after Dec. 31, 2013, you are a FERS "Further Revised Annuity Employee" (FERS-FRAE) and you should have "KF" in Box 30 (and not "K") of your SF 50. You need to go to your Human Resources or Personnel Office as soon as possible and get this matter straightened out.
thanks 1 user thanked Ed Zurndorfer for this useful post.
pantages on 8/7/2019(UTC)
pantages  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3:51:08 PM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 5/25/2013(UTC)
Posts: 5

Thanks: 1 times
Thanks for the speedy reply!

I saw a response in a different post that said the government would return all my FERS FRAE contributions to me tax-free when I start pulling retirement.

Is that true?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:10:24 PM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

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Yes, that is true (as part of your FERS monthly annuity).
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