Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
I would like to know if Congress passes a bill to eliminate the FERS Special Supplement Annuity beginning in Jan 2013 without grandfathering current employees in, will I have a chance to change back to the CRS retirement system due to my circumstances. I was originally covered under CSR retirement system. In 1988, the government gave employees under CSRS with less than five years an opportunity to change over to FERS. I based my decision to change to FERS on the facts about the FERS retirement system. The basic annuity included the special supplement to bridge the gap between my MRA of 56 and Social Security age of 62. Now after 30 years of service, Congress comes along and changes the FERS retirement system rules to not include the supplement therefore not allowing me to be able to financially retire at 56. Is this legal or is it a breach of contract by the US government?
As far as I am aware, there are no proposals to allow FERS employees to switch back to CSRS if they were originally under that system. Also, it appears from your question that you are under a mandatory retirement requirement. The proposal being considered by Congress does not apply to those employees (fire fighters, air traffic controllers, and law enforcement officers) under mandatory retirement.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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