The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times reader about retirement and other issues facing the federal workforce. It is answered by Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and a Federal Times columnist since 1995.
Question: I will be 70 in 2023. I will apply for Social Security at that time. I’ve been receiving workers compensation from the OWCP since 1977. I have FEPBLUE insurance and didn’t take Medicare Part B when I turned 65. When I called Social Security recently, they told me I’d have to pay a 50% penalty if I chose Part B. Can I keep just my FEPBLUE? The representative at FEPBLUE said I didn’t have to take Part B. Once I start collecting my $1700/ month social security checks, will my compensation check decrease?
Reg’s Response: When you begin receiving a regular Social Security benefit, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs will reduce your workers compensation benefit in an amount equal to the Social Security benefits payable to you on the basis of your age and attributable to your federal service.
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Reg Jones is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.