Q. I am facing having to retire under a medical retirement. Effective this May I will only have a total of 9 years government service under FERS and I am only 52 years old and not eligible for regular retirement yet. What is the difference between a disability retirement and medical retirement and what would my annuity payment be based on? I was told I would receive 80 percent of my high-3. Is this correct?
A. There is no such thing as medical retirement, only disability retirement. To qualify for that benefit, it would have to be determined that you are unable to perform useful and efficient service in your current position because of disease or injury or any other available position at the same grade and pay for which you are qualified.
No, it isn’t correct that you’d receive 80 percent of your high-3. What you would receive for the first 12 months is 60 percent of your high-3, minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit to which you are entitled. After the first 12 months, you’d receive 40 percent of your high-3, minus 60 percent of any Social Security benefit to which you are entitled. At age 62, your disability benefit would be converted to a regular retirement benefit. Essentially, you’d receive the annuity you would have received if you’d worked to age 62.