Disability retirement

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Q. I worked as a law enforcement officer for more than 13 years before I was medically disqualified for my position and was awarded disability retirement. I am three months from turning 62. Will my regular retirement computation include the 13 years as an LEO at 1.7 percent since I paid an additional 0.5 percent into the FERS retirement system? Does the amount for credible service include the time receiving disability retirement? I have read the years on disability are computed at 1.1 percent if retirement begins on or after age 62 with 25 years of credible service. Is this correct?

A. Yes, at age 62 your disability annuity will be converted to a regular annuity. Twenty years of service (actual and disability) will be computed using the enhanced 1.7 percent multiplier, the remainder at 1 percent. Your annuity will also be increased by any COLAs payable from the date you went on disability retirement to the date your regular annuity begins.

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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

4 Comments

  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    Please see BAL-10-205, Enhanced Computations for Disability and Survivors, which can be found at https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/2010/10-105.pdf The BAL states that due to a series of court cases, OPM now calculates the time spend as a LEO AND time spend on the disability rolls as LEO time and will in fact calculate, at age 62, up to 20 years at the 1.7% rate and any years over 20 at the 1% rate.

  2. Elaine Lumsden on

    At age 62, when the annuity is recomputed, the high-3 is increased by all COLAs , not the annuity. Here is the reference:

    1. The disability annuity is recomputed at age 62 to an amount that represents the annuity the individual would have received if he or she had continued working until the day before his or her 62nd birthday and then retired under FERS non-disability provisions.
    2. The total service used in the computation is increased by the amount of time the individual received a disability annuity. The high-3 average salary is increased by all FERS cost-of-living increases that were effective during the time he or she received a disability annuity, regardless of whether the retiree’s annuity was actually increased by the COLA’s.

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