CSRS retirement


Q. I am a CSRS employee who will have 40 years of government service in mid-April 2010 at age 63. When would it be in my best interest to retire to obtain the 80 percent annuity? Whatever that date may be, would I then be entitled to the next full cost-of-living increase?
A. To receive an annuity worth 80 percent of your high-3, you’d need to have 41 years an 11 months of creditable service and owe no deposits or redeposits to the retirement fund. If you worked longer than that, any retirement contributions you made to the retirement fund would either be returned to you or could be used to buy additional annuity. Like credit for unused sick leave, it would not be subject to the 80 percent limitation. As for COLAs, if you retired no later than Dec. 3 of a given year, you would be eligible to receive a full COLA one year later. So for example, if you retired on Dec. 3, 2012, you’d receive a full COLA in your January 2014 annuity payment. For every month you retired later than that, your COLA would be reduced by 1/12th.


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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.

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