Visit FedSmith.com to subscribe to our free email list!

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

I am a retired air traffic controller with the FAA after 25 yrs of service. Will I forfeit my pension from the FAA if I accept a job with the USPS?

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?.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at [email protected] to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.