“Does severance pay affect the earnings test for the social security supplement for FERS retirees? Also, if I am only receiving severance beginning in 2023, when can I apply to reinstate my supplemental payment?”

Reg’s Response

Severance pay is considered to be taxable income. OPM will note the change in your taxable income at the end of the year when it runs its files against those of the Internal Revenue Service and will adjust your special retirement supplement accordingly. During the next cycle, when OPM receives information that your income has returned to its earlier amount, it will reinstate your special retirement supplement.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, 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.

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