VSIP, FERS and NAF money


Q. I worked for NAF from Sept. 1, 1970, to August 1990 in the Air Force. With no break in service, I ported into FERS. Early in my FERS career, I had the option of taking my NAF retirement in a differed annuity or transferring it into FERS with my NAF service. I chose to move all of my NAF retirement money ($6,500) into FERS, hoping it would combine with my FERS retirement.

In November, I started looking at the possibilities of taking the VSIP. From November to April, I spoke with BEST counselors five times trying to get an estimate as to what my FERS retirement would be with more than 42 years of federal service. Due to the NAF retirement fiasco, I have yet to find a counselor who could answer my question regarding what I will be receiving in retirement. Fortunately, I have a copy of the funds transfer from the NAF retirement account. This doesn’t mean it will work in my favor, as a number of BEST counselors think my FERS retirement will be lower with the added NAF retirement funds not higher.

It would make sense to think that that if I ported all my time into FERS and moved my retirement money into FERS that I would be considered a 100 percent FERS employee. If the money moved from the NAF side of the house to FERS wasn’t sufficient to completely vest me into the FERS retirement plan, we should have had the opportunity to pay the balance required.

A. It appears your annuity would be based on the standard FERS formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x your combined years and full months of FERS and NAF service. If you were younger than 62 when you retired, you’d also receive the special retirement supplement, which would be based solely on the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. If you were 62 or older when you retired, the multiplier in the FERS formula would be increased to 0.011. However, you wouldn’t be eligible for the SRS because that benefit ends at age 62.


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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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