Browsing: CSRS annuity computation

Sick leave and retirement

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There’s a lot of confusion about what happens to your unused sick leave when you retire. In short, the more sick leave you have, the bigger your annuity will be. But before I get into how much bigger and how that’s done, I want to share a little history with you. Once upon a time, Civil Service Retirement System employees didn’t get any credit for their unused sick leave when they retired. When the Congress discovered that employees nearing retirement were burning off that leave at bonfire levels, the law was changed so that they could. However, when Federal Employees…

Finding Your High-3

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The “high-3” is an essential element in the formula used to calculate your annuity. But what does the term high-3 mean? And how do you figure out what yours is? The high-3 defined Your high-3 is the average of your highest rates of basic pay over any three consecutive years of creditable civilian service, no matter when they occur in your career, with each pay rate weighted by the length of time it was received. That three-year period starts and ends on the dates that produce the highest average pay. It starts on the first day that leads to the…

Military annuity and CSRS

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Q. My husband (age 56) and I (age 53) are reaching the time when we are considering retirement and want to clarify a few things. I am covered under CSRS with 33 years of service. I have worked other jobs but I do not have enough credits to be eligible for Social Security. He is National Guard and will retire with over 30 years of service. He is also a government technician covered under FERS and will be eligible for Social Security. We are both retiring with survivor benefits. I know my husband’s Social Security would offset my CSRS. Will…

Matching contributions

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Q. I’m a CSRS employee with more than 41 years of service and plan to continue my federal employment well beyond 41 years. I understand that CSRS employees contribute 7 percent of their salary into the retirement fund and that the government matches that 7 percent contribution into the fund. I’m told that, after completing 41 years, 11 months of service, I will reach the maximum annuity benefit of 80 percent. At that point, the 7 percent retirement contributions will continue to be taken from my pay and placed into an interest bearing account to be refunded when I retire.…

Service credit and sick leave

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Q. I am a FERS employee with 32 years of service credit. I was in CSRS for 5 years, 10 months and 28 days. I left the government but came back 3 years later as a FERS employee. When I retire I will have 28 days of CSRS service credit and 25 days of FERS Service Credit. Will 7 days of my excess sick leave (56 hours) be applied to my remaining days of 23 to give me an extra month toward retirement?

Survivor benefit fees

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Q. I am CSRS and making a decision about whether or not to take out survivor benefits. The rule used to be you if you take out survivor benefits and your spouse dies, you had the lower annuity the rest of your life. The rule now is if you take out survivor benefits and your spouse dies, your reduced annuity can revert to full annuity. If I decide to take out survivor benefits based on the current rule and they reverted back to the old rule, would I have an opportunity to opt out of the survivor benefits since my…

Civil service annuity and Social Security

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Q. I am retired from the Postal Service under CSRS and get the maximum annuity. What happens if I become eligible for Social Security? (I work a part-time job two days a week.) Right now I have 28 credits. Should I make sure I do not get 40? What happens if I am eligible and do not apply for it? Would that prevent me from losing any of my annuity? I want to make sure I do not mess up or reduce my pension from civil service.

Calculating CSRS, FERS annuities

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In my last two columns I described the kinds of active duty service in the armed forces that are potentially creditable in your CSRS or FERS annuity, and what you have to do to get that credit. This time I’ll quickly go over the rules governing the computation of CSRS and FERS annuities for most federal employees. That way you’ll be able to see what the difference would be between a pure civilian annuity and one that includes credit for active duty service for which you’ve made a deposit. Eligibility rules Under CSRS, you can retire immediately if you are…

Insurable interest annuity

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Q. I just read a question on your site about a son getting a possible payout from what is left of his mother’s CSRS retirement when she passed away. I’m confused. If this is the case, meaning there is a death benefit when the CSRS employee passes, why would anyone select a survivor benefit?

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