Q: As of June 21 I completed 44 years of government service. All my retirement contributions are in CSRS. Tentatively, I am planning on retiring July 3, 2012, unless circumstances change, then I would need to revise my retirement date accordingly. Would it be to my benefit to work another six months in 2012, or retire at the end of 2011?
A: While I can’t offer you advice, I can provide you with some information that may help you make a decision. When you accumulated 41 years and 11 months of creditable service, you reached the maximum allowable earned annuity rate: 80 percent of your high-3. When you retire, all the contributions you made to the retirement system after that point will be returned to you with the option of buying additional annuity that isn’t subject to the 80-percent limit. However, the value of that additional annuity is based on a different formula. For example, for anyone retiring at age 55, $100 would buy $7 more annuity per year. That amount increases by 20 cents for every year you are older than 55 at the time you retire. Unlike your regular annuity, this additional annuity isn’t increased by cost-of-living adjustments.