Social Security calculation


Q: I will have to retire (age 57) in January 2014 as a federal
law enforcement officer with 29 1/2 years of service under FERS. If I am
correct, the Social Security Supplement will be calculated by multiplying my Social Security estimate of $1,792 per month (obtained from their website) times 29.5 divided by 40 (40 quarters). This will equate to $1,321 per month at retirement or $15,859 per annum. Did I calculate this correctly?

A: Close. However, the formula you used needs one minor adjustment. Your FERS-covered years should be rounded up to the next higher whole number, which would be 30. The answer then would be $1,344. Just remember that the Social Security estimate you received will have changed by the time you retire. Also that the amount you receive will vary according to your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings, just as it is true with any Social Security benefit.


About Author

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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