Letter to the editor

Milt Zall's column on "Why feds retire" in the Aug 13 issue of Federal Computer Week was very interesting. I always look forward to his columns, especially anything concerning the U.S. Postal Service.

One reason for feds retiring wasn't addressed but I'm sure a few have considered it. I've basically followed the premise that once I was eligible to receive a pension, the amount I was being paid to continue to work actually decreased by the percentage I would receive as a pension.

I served 20 years and five days in the U.S. Air Force and began to receive 50 percent of my base pay upon my "retirement" at the old age of 37. I did receive the bonuses that were given for re-enlisting, but it stopped after I received a total of $2,000.

I then "retired" from the U.S. Postal Service after 17 years by combining USPS service with my military years. I bought the 20 years of USAF service by paying 7 percent of my total active military pay, which now provides me with a 70 percent postal pension that will not be reduced at age 62.

However, my working years are not over yet. I was asked to come back and work as an IT contractor. Now, at age 62, I have amassed nearly 28 years under Social Security (20 years military and eight years of nongovernment jobs), and if I can make 30 years of Social Security-eligible work, the Government Pension Offset won't apply.

Please don't think I'm bragging because I'm really quite modest when it comes to my accomplishments. I consider myself very fortunate to have served in the USAF, to have been employed by the USPS and now to be able to work under a contract. But I do try to let my co-workers know what other opportunities may be available once they're eligible to retire.

Although federal work can become stressful, dull and thankless, there are other fields to look into where one's talents can be used and appreciated. I'm glad I kept my options open after the postal retirement, because I found retirement really boring.

Nolan Scott

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