Q: I am a 47-year-old FERS employee with 25 years of creditable service. I am a GS-15, so my plan is to retire at 56 (my MRA) where I will have 34 years of experience. Is it correct to assume that at 56 I will get FERS (34 percent of my salary based on 34 x 1 percent) and the Special Retirement Supplement (SRS) that would approximate my Social Security? How would the SRS affect my Social Security payout once I hit 62 and can I defer Social Security payout to 67 to get the higher benefit if I have taken SRS? Also, I plan on getting a contractor job at 56. Will this affect any of my payouts?
A: Your annuity estimate is correct. As for the special retirement supplement, it would be based solely on your years as a FERS employee. At age 62, when you become eligible for a Social Security benefit, the SRS would stop. It’s up to you to decide when to apply for that regular Social Security benefit. After retirement, if you have earnings from wages or self employment that exceed the Social Security limit, your SRS would be reduced or eliminated. If you were re-employed by the government, in most cases the salary of your new position would be offset by the amount of your FERS annuity.