FERS disability payments


Q. I was an air traffic controller for 19 years 9 months and am now on a FERS disability annuity. If I am reading BAL 10-105 correctly, my annuity should be computed at 1.7 percent instead of the 1.0 or 1.1 percent I am currently receiving. Is that correct? Also, at age 62 what will happen? At that age I would have 41 years of service. I also question MRAs and the age of 62 for calculations for air traffic controllers. I was eligible for a full FERS retirement at 46 (25 years service). The maximum age to work as an air traffic controller is 56. Shouldn’t the recalculation begin at 56?

A. FERS disability payments are calculated in only one way. They aren’t influenced by whether you are a regular or a special category employee. At age 62, your disability annuity will be converted to a regular annuity, which will take into account your ATC service, all of it increased by any COLAs that would have been payable from the time you went on disability to the present.


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. Title 5 8415(f) is what you need to reference when talking to OPM. I ran into this exact same problem after much back and forth and getting my congressman involved they did agree that air traffic controllers fall under different calculations. Big difference in annuity under the 1.7 rule for all years.

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