Can a Discontinued Service Retirement be processed after separation?

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I am a current FERS employee who will be separated soon for declining a position outside of my commuting area. I am 57 with 20 years, which qualifies me for a DSR. If my employer does not complete OPM 1510, which certifies my ability for a DSR, will OPM still consider DSR request if I file after removal?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on June 20, 2017 3:25 pm
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First, the mere fact that you declined a position outside of your commuting area is not solely qualifying for a Discontinued Service Retirement. If you qualify for a DSR, you should file before you leave federal service.
Your agency is required to provide the proper documentation when submitting any application for retirement. Since the final responsibility for determining whether a separation is involuntary for a Discontinued Service Retirement rests with the Office of Personnel Management, additional documentation is required and without this documentation, your application is incomplete and will delay the processing and finalization.
Shown below is the “Additional Documentation” required. This can be found in Chapter 44 Page 28 of the CSRS FERS Handbook. Here is the link for this chapter: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c044.pdf
The following documentation must also be included in the submission:
• A copy of the written notice to the employee that he or she faces involuntary separation from his or her position as of some specific date;
• A copy of any correspondence received from OPM regarding the matter of the employee’s separation, including a copy of OPM’s approval of general notice (see section 44A2.1-1); and
• OPM Form 1510, in which the agency certifies that a reasonable offer of another position was not made to the employee. OPM Form 1510 may be reproduced locally from the facsimile in subchapter 44C.

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Answered on June 21, 2017 2:50 pm

Ms. Lumsden,

Thank you for your response. It sounds like I must file with OPM directly if my Agency will not complete the OPM Form 1510. That’s really what I’m trying to understand. You are correct that an offer outside the commuting area in and of itself is not enough, but my question is more fundamental. I also agree that OPM has final say, but I’m trying to determine, absent an appeal with MSPB, what my options are. If you don’t know, I appreciate that as well.

( at June 22, 2017 4:15 pm)
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To qualify for the DSR, you must receive specific written notice of the proposed involuntary separation and the letter must state the date the proposed action is to be effective. You would then resign in lieu of the involuntary separation and file your retirement application with the agency.
The agency must code your SF-50 properly and submit the proper documentation to accompany the retirement application and if they do not, the Office of Personnel Management will contact the agency for the proper documentation. Again, I refer you to CSRS FERS Handbook, Chapter 44, page 9. I know this is the CSRS portion, but it says in the FERS section to read the CSRS section as it is applicable. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c044.pdf

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Answered on June 22, 2017 5:15 pm

Ms. Lumsden

Thank you. I suppose an employee could also wait to be removed and then file with the Agency within 30 days of separation without a real downside.

( at June 22, 2017 7:21 pm)
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I do not understand what you mean…file a grievance? Why not just follow procedures for the DSR and the agency will need to submit the proper paperwork. They cannot just say “we wont do it.” Do you have your proposed action letter yet?

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Answered on June 22, 2017 8:20 pm

Hi Ms. Lumsden,
What I meant was accept the removal and file my retirement application w/the Agency within 30 days. My concern is I’m not sure if the Agency will file the 1510 cert. if they don’t believe a DSR was triggered by the MDR, which goes back to your earlier statement (correct I might add) that a MDR outside the commuting area may not be enough.

( at June 23, 2017 5:43 am)

My bottom line concern about the 1510 is the language on the form which suggests that if a 1510 doesn’t accompanying the retirement package, OPM can reject it or accept it and process as a voluntary retirement assuming I’m otherwise eligible. In that case, I do not want to take the pre-62 age reduction under FERS. Yes, I have proposed letter that seems to follow OPM Chapter 44, with a proposed effective date no earlier than 30 days after my receipt of it. I guess I question the latter language as meeting OPM\\’s requirement that the proposal state the date the proposed action is to be effective. Perhaps it does. Again, thanks.

( at June 23, 2017 8:12 am)
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Can you please contact me outside this forum? At my site http://www.elumsden.com you can send me a message directly. I think one of us is missing something and it might be easier to communicate that way to be sure I am getting the entire picture and hopefully lessen your concerns. With a DSR, it is always OPM’s decision whether the retirement meets the definition of said retirement…they just need the backup documentation so they can make that decision.

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Answered on June 23, 2017 2:35 pm
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The Agency can indeed refuse to complete and submit a 1510. It happened to my wife. She had 26 years of creditable service and they relocated our Army Battalion outside a reasonable commuting distance. Her request to be allowed to work from an alternate location (which WAS available) was denied. They said it was an issue of “accountability” and they didn’t want to “set a precedent”. Her request to telecommute was denied as well, even though she had been working from home most evenings and at least 8 hours every weekend for 7 years to keep up with the work load (she was the RM and did all the travel – DTS). She appealed all the way up to the USAREC CG and he wouldn’t write her back or even acknowledge her e-mails. We tried to file a “congressional” but they wouldn’t investigate it saying it was a personnel matter. OPM would not intercede without the 1510 and my wife ended up taking a pay reduction of approx. $500 per month for life!! The Govt. says they value their employees, and she was a highly decorated and well appreciated employee during her career, but she was treated like garbage when she declined the job at the new location (48 miles from our old office and 90 miles, one-way, from our home). We eventually quit trying and just sucked up the pay penalty but it sure left a bad taste in our mouths…. Good luck in your quest but I’m afraid your fighting a losing battle.

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Answered on June 28, 2017 6:12 pm
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This topic is of great interest to me as well. I am a candidate of DSR not because I am being forced out but because my HR says I can go DSR 1.5 years ahead of my MRA. Now please let me fill in the blanks. I am a technician and there are some OPM rules which seem to benefit technicians. My cube mate and I were both replaced by active duty air fore members thus rendering us with no duties however we have the option to go out on DSR, wait for our MRA or go into priority placement which can take up to a year. At age 54 and with 36 yrs FERS time I am excited at the opportunity to retire early especially given my TSP has delivered a somewhat robust ROI and its available at age 55. My dilemma is this, my agency will not provide me with letters stating my position was abolished/realigned unless I retire from the reserve military side first making me ineligible for the civil service position. So if the agency can deny the 1510 as in Tom’s case then OPM can deny a DSR and I risk being put out on the street as separated and not retired right? After reading Tom’s story it only stands to reason that no one is safe from bureaucratic complacency and negligent injustice. I want to go in Jan 18 since I turn 55 then but I don’t feel that there is a reasonable assurance in my safety. Furthermore, forget trying to reach OPM by phone or email for guidance, they have build a shield around themselves.

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Answered on September 14, 2017 7:25 pm
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As a Military Reserve Technician there are different rules with respect to early retirement. Please see the following link beginning on page 56: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c046.pdf Basically what it says is if you were involuntarily separated from technician service due to disability or any other reason by the employing agency, MRTs are entitled to an immediate annuity if hired before 02/10/1996 and are age 50 with 25 years of FEDERAL service OR if hired after 02/09/1996 can retire at age 50 with 20 years of TECHNICIAN service or at any age with 25 years of TECHNICIAN service. This retirement differs from a traditional DSR because the FERS retiree supplement is paid immediately and COLAs are calculated on the retirement immediately.

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Answered on September 15, 2017 3:24 pm