Q. When do retirees receive the cumulative retirement amount reflected in block 19 of their leave and earnings statement, and in what increments? Isn’t this in addition to the annuity and Thrift Savings Plan amounts retirees will receive?
A. The figure you see on your pay slip is the cumulative amount you have contributed to the retirement system. At retirement, a portion of that amount and the government’s contribution will be returned to you in your monthly annuity payment. To find out the proportions of each and how the federal tax code applies to them, go to www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p721.pdf.
FYI, the only way you could receive a refund of those contributions is to resign from the government before you are eligible to retire. Of course, that would cancel any entitlement you might have to a retirement benefit.