Q. I am a CSRS employee who recently had my human resources department do an annuity estimate for me regarding how much my pension would be. How accurate are these estimates, and how can one actually know for sure what the actual amount will be? Also, with the problems that the Office of Personnel Management is having with processing paperwork, I am a little worried that when I retire, I will not receive my pension in a timely fashion.
A. There are two ways to check their work. First, get a paper and pencil and plug your numbers into the following formula:
0.015 x your high-3 x five years of service, plus
0.0175 x your high-3 x five years of service, plus
0.02 x your high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service
Your high-3 is the average of three consecutive years of salary regardless of when they occur in your career.
Second, you can go to www.FEDbens.us and use the handy software there.
While you are right to be worried about the timely processing of your retirement application, OPM is doing much better in quickly putting retirees in interim pay and at a higher percentage level than before. As for how long it will take for you to be put in full annuity pay status, no one has the answer to that question.