Deferred annuity


Q: I have a total of 25 years of federal service as a Federal Employees Retirement System employee. I am 51 years old and thinking of leaving and working for a private company. How can I find out what my pension will be when I reach the minimum retirement age of 62? And how can I find out how much I would get right now if I was to take my pension money out now and roll it over into an IRA or ROTH account? I don’t like the fact that my spouse will only get 50 percent of my pension if I die before they do.

A: If you resign from the government with at least 20 years of creditable service, you can apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. That annuity would be computed using this formula: 0.01 x your highest three consecutive years of average salary on the day you left x your years and full months of service on the day you left. The fact that you don’t like the idea of your spouse receiving 50 percent of your annuity if you die before him is irrelevant. Under the law, as long as he was married to you on the day you left government, he will be entitled to that benefit.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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