Annuity calculation


Q.  My problem, as noted below, is that I have combined legislative, military and federal service.  I purchased my military service years ago, while in the legislative branch.  I know the legislative branch calculates their annuity at a higher rate than do other federal agencies.   I’m not sure what that rate is and I have yet to find a calculator that can factor in the combined time/pay to come up with a annuity estimate.   My question is, how is legislative service calculated and how is it factored into my ultimate annuity?  For the sake of discussion, my basic info is as follows:
DOB — 7/18/59

SCD — 11/6/1981

USMC — 11/6/81 – 11/5/86

U.S.  Senate — 11/6/86-11/3/2001

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs — 11/4/2001 to present

My current salary is $113,785; my average high three, as of now, is $104,642. Can you help me figure this out?

A. You’ve come to the right address. If you have at least five years of congressional service, that time will be computed using a more generous formula: 0.017 x your high-3 x all years and full months of congressional service. Since you cut it rather close, you’ll need to check with your personnel office to see if you do, in fact, have five years of such service.

Assuming that you made it by the skin of your teeth, all additional years of service, whether served under FERS or bought back by making a deposit to the retirement fund will be calculated using the standard formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service. Because you will be retiring after October 28, 2009, half of any unused sick leave you have at retirement will be added to your actual service time, unless you retire after December 31, 2014; in that case you’ll get full credit for it. Note:  Sick leave can’t be used to make you eligible to retire. It can only be added after you meet the age and service requirements.

About Author

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

Leave A Reply