Q. I work for the Postal Service. If my job moves 75 miles away and I only have 15 years of FERS under my belt but will not move, what would be the difference in dollar terms under FERS of resigning with 14½ years at 43 years old vs. putting up with commuting or renting during the workweek for five more years of FERS to make 20 total years at 50 years old. Last high-3 basic pay would be around $56,000 per year.
A. If you really want an answer to your question, you’ll have to hire a financial adviser to do the math. However, even if you provide him with more information, such as the rent you’ll be paying, you’ll only end up with a rough estimate.
On the other hand, I can provide you with some facts that may help you to do the math yourself. Whether you resign or are separated by adverse action, you wouldn’t be eligible for a deferred annuity until age 62.
Assuming that your high-3 was $56,000 when you left, your annuity would be $8,120 (.01 x $56,000 x 14.5). It wouldn’t be increased by any intervening cost-of-living adjustments nor would you be able to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs when your annuity began.
If you accepted the transfer and continued to work, you’d receive the salary of that position, increased by any longevity and/or annual pay adjustments, thus increasing your high-3. You’d also be able to continue your FEHB and FEGLI coverage. While you cite age 50 with 20 years service as your goal, you wouldn’t be able to retire then unless presented with an early retirement opportunity. If you weren’t, the earliest that you could retire would be at your minimum retirement age, which would be 56 and 10 months. Since you wouldn’t have 30 years of service, you’d be retiring under the MRA+10 provision, and your annuity would be reduced by 5/12 percent for every month you were under age 60 when you retired.