News: Furlough and civilian retirement: How does it affect you?
Story by Sgt. Diandra Harrell
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - If there were any uncertainties about the current administrative furlough affecting civilian retirement fear no more, presently the furlough will not affect civilian retirement.
“Retirement annuities are calculated based on your highest average salary (rate of basic pay) for a three year consecutive period of creditable civilian service,” said Diann Batts, director civilian personnel. If the two-week period of furlough falls within the three-year highest average salary period, the furlough time will be credited in the high-three average salary calculation. Currently, I do not expect this period of furlough to have an impact on employee retirement annuities.”
The current furlough is set to last through Sept. 20, 2013, and if it is to extend into fiscal year 2014 those affected will be notified.
“If an extension were to occur, the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army will issue additional guidance regarding requirements, time-frames, and way ahead,” said Batts. “Additionally, we will keep our workforce informed when and if any changes occur.”
Although the furlough may not any bearing on civilian retirement it may have an impact on certain benefits such as annual and sick leave.
“For example, when a full-time employee with an 80-hour biweekly tour of duty accumulates a total of 80 hours of non-pay status during the leave year (either in one pay period, or over the course of several pay periods), the employee will not earn annual and sick leave in the pay period in which that 80-hour accumulation is reached,” said Batts. Under the current furlough of 11 days (88 hours), employees will not receive annual or sick leave in the pay period which they have accumulated 80 hours of non-pay status.”
Employees concerned regarding the impact of furlough on other benefits and entitlements should contact the Army Benefits Center at 1-877-276-9287. In addition those looking for more information about the furlough may go to www.whs.mil/HRD/FAQs.cfm