Annuity based on disability


Q: I’m a 45-year-old disabled retiree with 25 years of service. If I am getting $2,800 a month on Social Security disability and $1,695.00 on Federal Employees Retirement System disability after my first year, how much will I get when both are combined? I understand the Office of Personnel Management makes some calculations on this, but I can’t figure them out. Based on the information above, can you give me an estimate total of both after reduction.

A: I’ll give you the formulas; then you can do the arithmetic. For the first 12 months on FERS disability retirement, a retiree receives 60 percent of his high-3 average salary, minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. After the first 12 months, he’ll receive 40 percent of his high-3, minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. If the retiree continues to be disabled, that benefit will be paid until age 62, when the FERS disability annuity would be recomputed as if he had continued to work until age 62. Note: If the earned annuity would be higher than the disability annuity, he’d receive that instead.


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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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