Calculating final FERS annuity


Q: I had 6.8 years of my military service used in determining my service computation date (SCD) of March 4, 1987. As a reserve officer on active duty, I retired after 32 years of service (National Guard, Army Reserve, Active Guard Reserve combined). I retired in March 1993 and began work as a Federal Employees Retirement System employee in November of the same year. I am wanting to retire July 31 (I was 66 — full retirement age — as of Jan. 1). I have received conflicting information on what my final FERS retirement annuity is made up of, i.e. using the SCD of March 4, 1987 [23 years and 4-plus months] or the beginning work date of Nov. 15, 1993 [16 years and 8 months]. The determination will make some difference in pay calculations, so I need your guidance/recommendation on what I can use for the “Final Retirement Pay” calculation. I also considered a military service buy-back, but after calculating the amount needed to buy back the military service time and what would result as a FERS annuity compared to my retired pay plus FERS annuity once I retired, it didn’t seem feasible to go down that path.

A: While your period of active-duty service may have been used in determining your leave accrual rate, unless you make a deposit for that time to the civilian retirement fund, it won’t be included in your annuity computation. Therefore, your annuity will be based solely on your FERS service between March 1993 and July 2010. Since you will be at least age 62, you can retire with as few as five years of civilian service. However, because you have fewer than 20 years of service, your annuity will be calculated using the standard formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of FERS service.


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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

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