Glitches affecting retirees and the raise-that-never-was for clerical employees are the subject of today's letters to the Monday Morning Quarterback.
This is what people are writing about:
I've been hearing horror tales about the amount of time it takes most employees to receive their first annuity check after retiring.
Some say 90 days, others say up to six months! If all this is true, I would like to ask a few simple questions: Why? Why? Why?
In this age of computers it is unthinkable that a simple transition from full-time employee to annuitant can't be easily accomplished in the time between pay periods.
If the reason behind the delay is because work is backed up . . . then why aren't those who are facing retirement allowed to put in their papers 90 days (or six months or whatever) prior to their actual retirement date, so that by the time their paper work gets through the logjam they will have reached their retirement date?
I would be willing to be held to the retirement date I choose instead of being subjected to trying to survive for 90 to 180 days without a check! There could even be a penalty for those who renege, or better yet . . . don't let them renege!
While on the subject of retirement, I would like to point out that the law provides a way for those federal retirees who are unhappy because their retirement pay is "too high," to decline all or part of their annuity by filing a waiver with the Office of Personnel Management. J.J.N., a Future Retiree in Bowie
I read the Feb. 12 column on the problem of retirees who switched from high option to (less costly) low option health plans but who were charged the higher premiums anyhow. Several years ago I had the same problem . . . . Frustrated, I called OPM, but the telephone line was always busy. After several months I finally got someone, who was not able to help. Finally I asked my congressman to intervene. His office stonewalled for several more months but eventually got it straightened out. I was surprised to find out that the problem is reoccurring and is more widespread than I thought. P.S.L., Charlottesville
Once again, high-level bureaucrats are mixing apples and oranges to make themselves look budget-conscious at the expense of lower-grade employees who have no hope of catching up with inflation. I was astonished to learn that employees in the special rate program would not get the across-the-board January pay raise, even though 2 percent is somewhat laughable . . . .
When OPM granted special rate raises to secretaries last year because offices were complaining about not being able to keep qualified secretaries, we felt something positive was at last being done for this particular occupation category. This latest decision by the powers that be (to deny the 2 percent raise to special rate employees) negates whatever corrections they were trying to make.
. . . By not receiving the 1988 pay increase, my special rate affords me a whopping $135 per year over those in the same grade/step not in the special rate program. Why do I not feel "special?" M.K.A., Bethesda