Disability retirement


Q. I retired on disability after 23 years under FERS and am now age 60. Will I ever receive full retirement since they take out a percentage for Social Security?

A. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say “they take out a percentage for Social Security?” Social Security taxes are only paid by those who have earnings from wages or self-employment, not retirees. Moving on, your disability annuity will end at age 62 when it is converted to a regular retirement. To do that, your actual service will be added to the time you spent on the disability rolls and multiplied by 1.1 percent. That figure will be multiplied by your high-3 salary on the day you went on the disability rolls, increased by all FERS COLAs payable from that time to the present.


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.


  1. Perhaps the person asking question was talking about the money for disability paid by Social Security must be paid back to OPM during disability status. At 62 you get on regular retirement status. You then would have recalculation of your annuity for regular retirement. And what you would get from Social Security would be retirees to keep. During my illness I was oblivious to the “set aside” and am now paying back.

  2. I believe what they are referring to is if you have a FERS Disability Retirement and are also receiving Social Security Disability, the amount of the SSDI is subtracted from the FERS DR. It sometimes takes OPM a few years to do the offset to your FERS DR. So then, you wind up owing thousands of dollars to OPM because they were late taking out your SSDI from your FERS DR (or you failed to notify them you were approved and receiving SSDI).

  3. Thanks, Pat, for clarifying my comment. When I was notified of the “overpayment” to me due to the SSDI from FERS DR, I was shocked because I submitted the social security Award letter in my disability retirement application that included the amount I would be paid from SSDI. I didn’t expect to deal with an overpayment when that information being provided as well as responses to OPM requests for SSDI updates were provided. After all, my mind was on surviving stage 4 bile duct cancer that came back after initial diagnosis, surgery. I went back to work but in that two years cancer returned. That is when I submitted Disability Retirement Application. I am just blessed to be still alive and surviving cancer and write about my experience with retirement overpayment surprise. FERS people be aware!! Personnel Offices, please be sure to tell my story of what might happen.

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