Q. I am a CSRS employee expecting to retire Aug. 31. I will have completed 43 years and seven months of service. Accumulated sick leave will add one year and four months of service credit. I calculate that I have had about 20 months of CSRS retirement pay deducted beyond my 41 years and 11 months maximum. This totals about $18,000. I will repay about $5,000 (The Office of Personnel Management confirmed the amount due was $4,600 as of March 2011) to cover 3½ years of service credit while I worked at the Postal Service in college. That leaves about $13,000 that I understand can either be refunded to me as a lump sum, or I can use the money to buy additional retirement annuity. How do I find out how much additional retirement annuity $13,000 buys me? I assume that if I elect to have the lump sum refunded to me, it would not be subject to federal tax since it was taxed initially. Is that correct?
A. If you are age 55, every $100 will buy you $7 per year of additional annuity. The amount increases by 20 cents for every year you are over age 55. So, for example, if you are age 60 when you retire, each $100 would buy you $8 of annuity.