FERS retirement


Q. I am a 59-year old GS-9 Step 4 working for the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C.  I had six years in the Marine Corps from 1971-1977, and have nearly five years as a GS-9 with the BVA.  I have bought into the FERS retirement system and am wondering what my retirement would be if I elect to retire with 14 years total government service at 63 years of age.  I know that I can also receive Social Security for the rest  of my life in addition to my government retirement.  I haven’t increased the amount, through my salary, that the federal government is placing into my retirement account.  Please calculate the standard retirement that I would receive in 2014, after 14 years of government service.
I also have a debilitating permanent partial disability (declared by the State
of Washington Labor & Industries), which I had prior to the date of federal hire
(4/17/06), that has been substantially exacerbated by the work that I have been
required to do by the VA.  In fact, I just received surgery (6/17/10) for an
approved USDOL workman’s comp claim for left shoulder rotator-cuff damage, which
might have increased the negative effects of the permanent partial disability
that I had prior to federal hire.  I now hurt all the time while I work due
to a neuropathy (the permanent partial disability) that has been worsened by
federal employment.  Do I have also have options as far as collecting disability
on early retirement?

A. You can calculate your own annuity with pencil and paper using the following formula: 0.01 x your highest three consecutive years of average base salary x all years and full months of service. Or you can do it without pen and paper by going to www.fedbens.us and plugging your numbers into the handy software.

To find out if you’d be eligible for disability retirement under FERS, you’d need to apply for it and, at the same time, apply for Social Security disability benefits. Your supervisor and your personnel office can help you do that.

About Author

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

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