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.