FERS annuity computation


Q. I currently work at a congressional commission that is considered part of the legislative branch. I have been here about 10 years and am 42. If I voluntarily leave this job for another, what are the retirement implications under the following scenarios:

1.  Work in the private sector until 62

2.  Work for the executive branch until 62

3.  Work in the private sector for several years, then return to the legislative branch until 62

4.  Work for the executive branch for several years, then return to the legislative branch until 62

5.  What if, under all of the above, I only worked until 55?

A. I’ll give you the facts about FERS annuity computations. You can have the fun of applying them to as many scenarios as you like. If you are a congressional staffer and have at least five but no more than 20 years of service in such a position, that service will be computed using this formula: 0.17 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service. Any years above 20, no matter where that FERS service occurred, will be computed using this formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x all years and full months of service other than those used in the congressional staff computation. If you retire at age 62 with at least 20 total years of service, the first multiplier will increase to 0.011 percent. When you retire, you’ll receive the special retirement supplement, which approximates the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by FERS.

P.S. You can forget about retiring at age 55. Because you were born in 1969, your minimum retirement age is 59 and 10 months.


About Author

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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