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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118659
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Need a Retirement Benefits Lawyer I am a disabled retired

Customer Question

Need a Retirement Benefits Lawyer
I am a disabled retired Air Traffic Controller from N90 (NY TRACON) since 2007. Upon my retirement the FAA supplied me with a booklet that documented the monthly allotment that I was to receive (6,644.00). These payments were received by me for 12 months until I was informed that I was approved for social security and my SS benefit would lower my OPM monthly annuity to $4200.00. This continued without incident until I received a letter from OPM informing me that I have been receiving an overpayment in my monthly allotment since 2007 and that I now owe them $123,646.21. They have given me until September 1, 2015 to respond or they will lower my monthly annuity by $1866.00 and install a payment plan whereas they will deduct this money for 65 monthly installments. I am a former Marine who served my country faithfully. I worked hard as an Air Traffic Controller for 20 years in the busiest ATC facility in the world, so I would be able to provide for my family. I do not deserve to have my life completely destroyed because someone in Washington DC was incompetent at their job. I am appealing to you because I don’t have many options. I only received their letter 5 days ago. I immediately contacted the person who authored who gave me her supervisors name and number. I have been calling that number numerous times for days and left multiple messages and have not heard back from anyone. The OPM has indicated to me that they will go ahead and garnish my retirement starting in 13 days. I feel at the very least I am entitled to an explanation of what happened. Not just them telling me to send them or check or we will take the money. I don’t know how I will be able to meet my bills and provide for my family, please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
I am afraid that state law forbids any expert on this site from actually representing you or any other customer on the site. If you would simply like information about questions you have regarding your situation, we are glad to assist and you can ask your questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I supplied you this information to give you an idea of my plight. My question to you is, is this a common experience? What are my rights in regard to this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
disregard calling me, I will wait for your reply
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would like to know my rights in regard to repaying an over payment to OPM
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply and clarification. We have to ask because so many customers come here thinking we will represent them and we have a duty to inform customers we cannot represent them. Thank you for your understanding.
Welcome to what your elected congress calls "Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)" which they enacted because they believed that persons who have earned a government pension and also happened to pay into social security were receiving a windfall of money and they should not receive both. Thus, under the WEP, if you receive another government pension and get SS, there will be a deduction to compensate for the collection of both benefits. My personal opinion, as someone impacted by the WEP is that it is unfair, since many people work jobs where they earned SS and also another job where they earned a government pension and should be entitled to the full benefits of both, but our Congress who all earn 6 figure pensions out of our tax dollars sees this as you and I getting a "windfall," which I at the very least find insulting on top of being unfair.
With the personal rant aside, I am afraid they are correct and that is the law and there is no exception to it I am afraid and the only way out is to elect a whole new congress to change the law.