Disability retirement and turning 62

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Q. I am 57 and was a civilian firefighter for the Navy in FERS with 13 years of service. I was medically retired in 2001 and have been receiving a disability annuity since.

I remember being told or having read that when I turn 62, my disability annuity will revert to a standard retirement, reducing my pension.

A couple of years after I left the federal system, I found part-time work to help add to my income, staying well under the 80 percent requirement, but over the last two to three years, my medical issues have worsened, and I am now unable to work at all.

If my annuity changes from disability retirement to standard retirement, will it affect my medical coverage or the cost of my medical coverage, and is it possible to have my disability considered permanent to avoid the change in retirement designations?

A. You are correct that when you turn 62, your FERS disability annuity will be converted to a regular FERS annuity. That annuity will be computed as if you had worked to age 62, with your total service to that time multiplied by 1 percent. The result will be multiplied by your high-3 on the date you went on disability retirement, increased by any cost-of-living increase payable from that time to age 62. I don’t know whether that annuity will be greater or less than your current disability annuity. Anyhow, you can’t alter the outcome. It’s the law.

As for medical coverage, if you are talking about an FEHB plan you are enrolled in, the premiums you are paying and the benefits you are receiving won’t change when you become a regular FERS retiree.

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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.

6 Comments

  1. Federal fire fighters, police officers, and a few other positions are calculated at 1.7% vs the 1.0% for the first 20 years then 1.0% for additional years. I have a question are opm disability annuities still taxable at the age of 62?

  2. Roberto Valenzuela on

    I believe if you are on both ssdi and fers disability there will no longer be an offset after 62years of age

  3. Sharon R Richardson on

    When my annuity changes from disability retirement to standard retirement can I find out now what my FERS annuity will be when I turn 62. Will it be more or less or stay the same.

    • No, you can’t find out. However, the annuity you receive at age 62 will likely be close to amount you’ll be receiving when you come off disability retirement.

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