Disability retirement


Q. I am a GS-1811 with just over 16 years of federal service. I was grandfathered into federal service at 42 and will have to retire at 62 (I am 59). Additionally, I have bought back 12 years of Army active-duty time. My Agency has proposed my removal for performance reasons, which I can directly attribute to my worsening Adult ADD. They are leaning toward an involuntary disability retirement vice removal. If I am disability retired, will my 12 years of bought-back Army time be included in the annuity calculation? Will it also be included in the subsequent calculation when my disability retirement is converted to a regular retirement at age 62?
A. None of your service time – actual or active duty – will be used in determining your FERS disability benefit. That’s because that benefit is based on a simple formula:
– for the first 12 months, 60 percent of your high-3, minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit
– after the first 12 months and up to age 62, 40 percent of your high-3, minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit
At age 62, your disability annuity would be converted to a regular annuity using the following formula:
.01 x your high-3 on the day you went on disability retirement x all years of service (actual, time on the disability roll, and active duty service for which you made a deposit). That figure would then be increased by any cost-of-living adjustments payable from the time you retired to age 62.


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.


  1. I had a motor vehicle accident on duty in Feb. 2016. I was off for 3-4 months. Due to the mild brain injury involved, I have been unable to improve to the required performance level and my supervisor suggested that I retire Thursday. My supervisors perception is accurate and I was given a generous opportunity to improve. I am 64, so I know there it will be a regular annuity. I only have 22-23 years in FERS and that is the only Social Security time I have as well. I had planned to work into my seventies as most of the women in my family have the health to do. I am lost, as with the brain injury, I had not put it together that I should have been preparing for an early retirement. Is there anything that being injured on the job will contribute? Thank you for your response.

    • Since you read the answer to a previous questioner, I hope you have applied for disability retirement. The benefits would be far grater than if you were separated and took discontinued service retirement.

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