Will I Forfeit My Pension If I Accept a Job with USPS?

By on September 24, 2014 in Pay & Benefits, Q&A with 18 Comments

Q: I am a retired air traffic controller with the FAA after 25 yrs of service. After sitting around for a bit, I find I am going crazy and am seeking employment. The postal service is hiring. Will I forfeit my pension from the FAA if I accept a job with the USPS?

A: If you were re-hired by the government, you would become a “re-employed annuitant.” You will continue to receive your pension and (unless there is a waiver of the prohibition against dual compensation) the salary of the job to which you return will be reduced by the amount of your pension. It is extremely unlikely that USPS jobs will have a waiver. You will be able to continue to contribute to the retirement fund and, when you retire again, your pension will be recomputed. If nothing else, it will be larger due to the fact that you will have worked more years. I suspect your high-three as an ATC would remain your high-three, unless you return to a high paying postal job. You would keep your ATC retirement, but the postal years would be 1% years.

Have you thought of looking for work outside of the government? If you got a non-government job there would be no salary-pension offset. If you don’t know what you want to do, get a copy of Richard Bolles’ book What Color is Your Parachute?.

John Grobe’s latest book, The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, has just been released by LRP Publications. The book is written in an easy to understand question and answer format and covers all areas of federal benefits from the perspective of an employee at various stages of their career. Order your copy at shoplrp.com.

© 2016 John Grobe. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from John Grobe.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.

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