Q: I am a Postal worker and will have my 30 years on 04/30/2013. I am under the FERS system & will be 57 years old if I retire then. Can you explain about “supplemental Social Security” or something that makes up the difference of what I would receive if I were 62 years old?
A: The special retirement supplement is intended to bridge the gap between the date on which you retire and age 62, when you’ll first be eligible for a Social Security benefit. You can do a paper and pencil estimate of what that might be by using a simple formula. Multiply the Social Security benefit estimate provided to you by the Social Security Administration by your total years of FERS service, rounded up to the next higher year. Then divide the product by 40. Alternatively, you can use the software available at www.FEDbens.us. Two things to remember about the SRS: First, it isn’t increased by cost-of-living adjustments. Second, if you exceed the annual Social Security earnings limit, your SRS will be reduced or suspended. In 2011, the earnings limit from wages or self-employment is $14,160.