Reader Question: How Do I Calculate My Federal Retirement Benefits?

A: Your benefits are calculated as follows…

Your benefit is based on your “high-3 average pay.” This is figured by averaging your highest basic pay over any 3 consecutive years of creditable service.

Generally, your benefit is calculated according to this formula:

1% of your high-3 average pay  X  years of creditable service

If you retire at age 62 or later with at least 20 years of service, a factor of 1.1% is used rather than 1%.

To determine your length of service for computation, add all of your periods of creditable service, then eliminate from the total any fractional part of a month (less than 30 days).

Depending on the category of retirement benefits you receive, your benefit may be reduced as described in the “Retirement Options” section. For example, the total could be reduced if you elect to retire at the minimum retirement age before completing 30 years of service.

Special Retirement Supplement

If you meet certain requirements, you will receive a Special Retirement Supplement, which is paid as an annuity until you reach age 62. This supplement approximates the Social Security benefit earned while you were employed by the

Federal government. You may be eligible for a Special Retirement Supplement if you retire:

•   After the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) with 30 years of service;

•   At age 60 with 20 years of service; or

•   Upon involuntary or early voluntary retirement (age 50 with 20 years of service, or at any age with 25 years of service) after OPM determines that your agency is undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force (RIF) or transfer of function. You will not receive the Special Retirement Supplement until you reach your MRA.

If you transfer to FERS from CSRS, you must have at least one full calendar year of FERS-covered service to qualify for the supplement.

If you have earnings from wages or self-employment that exceed the Social Security annual exempt amount, your Special Retirement Supplement will be reduced or stopped.

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