Q. I am 54 with 16 years in the federal service working as a Navy civilian. My paystub indicates I am in FERS. I don’t plan to retire until I’m 65 but I have two questions related to whether I should quit the government and work in private industry.
I went to http://www.fedbens.us. Assuming my highest three-year salary of $80,000 (I think with pay increases that will be my future salary), for 16 years I see $12,800. I see for 20 years $16,000 and 26 years $20,800. According to the calculator I would get some money regardless if I stayed in the government for 20 years. Is that correct? Is 16 years enough for some salary?
Also, is your salary independent of your Social Security? Or does getting a FERS annuity affect your Social Security payment?
A: If you had at least 20 years of service you could retire with an unreduced annuity at age 60. You could also retire if you reach your minimum retirement age and have at least 10 years of service; however, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were younger than 62 unless you postponed the receipt of your annuity to a later date to reduce or eliminate the penalty. Because you were born between 1953 and 1964, your MRA is 56. Finally, because you have at least 10 years of service, you could resign from the government at any time and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62.
As to your last question, your annuity will be what it is. Receiving a Social Security benefit would have no effect on it and vice versa.