Q. My start date with the U.S. Postal Service was December 1986. This is my 30th year. I am now 58 years old. I also worked prior to USPS and have more than 40 quarters in with Social Security. I am under the FERS system and understand that my contribution to TSP will factor into my annuity. I know nothing about USPS retirement and have heard words like “windfall elimination offset” and that I cannot get Social Security that was earned before the USPS. How can I find out when is the best time I should retire for maximum benefit and what would my actual payment be? Can you advise me or give me a name of a USPS retirement counselor that could give me answers based on my actual information?
A. Your TSP contributions will not be a factor in determining your FERS annuity and the Windfall Elimination Provision will not apply to you unless you will receive a pension based on service that was not subject to Social Security taxation. You submit your request for counseling, information and benefit estimates to your agency’s human resources office.
HR at the USPS is called Shared Services. Sometimes you get good help, sometimes not. A good place for him to start is to read OPM’s site on FERS retirement: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/