3 questions


Q. I started working for the Postal Service in August or September 1977 and resigned in June or July 1997 without withdrawing my retirement money. I have been working as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District since July 1997.

1. Is there any way to get specific counseling on my benefits?

2. How could I calculate my pension since I don’t know the salary rates I earned?

3. If I fill out my retirement papers now and write my wife’s name as beneficiary, what would happen if I divorce before or after starting to receive my pension?

A. 1. None that I know of. However, I can tell you that you’ll be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62.

2. Here’s the formula that will be used to compute your annuity: .015 x your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay x 5 years of service, plus .0175 x your high-3 x 5 years of service, plus .02 x your high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service. Since you don’t know what your high-3 is, you’ll have to guess.

3. You shouldn’t apply for a deferred annuity until three months before your 62nd birthday. That will reduce the likelihood of your being divorced before you are entitled to an annuity.


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.

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