Q. I am 57 with 22+ years of service with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I’d like to find out what my FERS balance is and what would be the best time to start an annuity. I served from 1989 to 2010 + two years active military bought back.
A. If you mean the amount that you’ve contributed to the retirement system, you’ll find that on your most recent pay slip. However, it may not reflect the deposit you made to capture your active-duty service. The good news is that neither amount is of any consequence when determining the amount of your annuity. To calculate that, use this formula: .01 x your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay x your years and full months of service (actual and active duty for which you’ve paid a deposit)
However, if you are intending to retire now, you’ll be doing it under the MRA+10 provision. As a result, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you are under age 60. You can reduce or eliminate that penalty by retiring and delaying the receipt of your annuity to a later date.