How To Calculate My Fers Retirement


How Is Fers Retirement Calculated

FERS Calculator – Your High 3

Federal employees who have worked more than 20 years may be unsure how to calculate their FERS retirement benefits. The formula is simple: your base salary plus a percentage, divided by how many years you have worked for the federal government. If you are currently 62 and have been working for the government for 15+ years, your FERS retirement benefits will be based on 1.1% of your highest-three average salary. A factor of 1.1% will be applied to those who have been working for more than 20 years.

A complicated formula is used to calculate a FERS pension. The formula is based on the high-3 average salary for the three years prior to your retirement. This means that the FERS pension is based on 1% to 1.1 percent of that average salary. It is important that the years of service are credible and not only recent. The factor is 11.7% for people who have retired within the last ten years.

After you have met the minimum time requirement to be eligible for FERS pension, the next step will be to calculate your COLA. If you are still working at the time of retirement, you will receive an annual COLA. If you retire before the age of 62, and have been working for at least 30 consecutive years, your benefit will be higher. The COLA calculation is based upon the average basic income of your last three years.

How Is Fers High

Your High-3 average salary is the highest annual salary that results from averaging your base pay over any three consecutive years of service. For most federal employees, this would be the 3 year period immediately preceding retirement, but it could conceivably be any consecutive 3 years of service .

When Do Disability Annuities Start And Stop

Once approved, FERS Disability commences at the earlier of your last day of pay or your date of separation.

If, for example, your LDOP was 8 months prior to your approval date, you would receive 8 months of your high-3 x 60% as a lump sum payment, and then continue to receive 60% of your high-3 for the next 4 months, after which time the annuity would reduce to 40% as shown above. In other words, the 12-month 60% period begins with your annuity commencement date.

Once on the retirement roles, there are four situations that will cause your disability annuity payments to stop. First, if you are re-employed by the federal government at any time, your annuity payments may stop.

Situations that cause the annuity to stop or continue once re-employed by the federal government are complex, and a competent federal employment attorney should be consulted. Second, your annuity payments will also stop if you die.

Partial annuity payments will continue after you pass away if you have set aside a survivors annuity with FERS. Third, your disability annuities will cease if you recover from your disability. If you recover from your disability, you must report it to FERS and OPM.

Finally, your disability annuities will stop if you restore your earning capacity. This applies even if your disability remains.

You may wonder, How does the federal government calculate this?

Consider the following: you take a FERS disability retirement.

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Fers Basic Benefit Calculation

The FERS basic annuity formula is actually pretty simple, and is based on your salary and years of service.

FERS Basic Annuity = High-3 Salary x Years of Service x 1%

And if you retire at age 62 or older with 20+ years of service, you get a slight bonus :

FERS Basic Annuity = High-3 Salary x Years of Service x 1.1%

Federal Retirement Is A Long And Difficult Road To Navigate But You’re Not Alone On This Journey

FERS Annuity Calculations
  • Retirement Roadmap Includes, at No Cost to Current Federal Employees:
  • MRA Date
  • FERS Pension Calculation
  • SRS Qualification
  • Social Security Calculation for Age 62 & FRA
  • TSP Income Estimate & Maximization
  • CSRS Retirement Options
  • Military Buy Back Calculation & Step-by-step
  • FEGLI Analysis Pre & Post-Retirement)

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Important Distinction On Sick Leave In Retirement

Your sick leave is added to your Years of Creditable Service. However, it IS NOT used to compute your eligibility to retire.

Meaning, you can use your FERS Sick Leave to calculate your pension benefits as it is added to your years of credible service. However, you cannot use sick leave to count towards your years of eligibility.

In order to retire from Federal Service with an unreduced immediate pension, you must meet the eligibility requirements.

An immediate retirement benefit is one that starts within 30 days from the date you stop working. If you meet one of the following sets of age and service requirements, you are entitled to an immediate retirement benefit:

Can You Collect A Pension And Social Security At The Same Time

Yes. There is nothing stopping you from receiving both pension and Social Security benefits. But there are certain types of pensions that can reduce Social Security payments.

What types of pensions affect Social Security benefits? Your Government Pension Can Affect Social Security Benefits The Government Pension Offset, or GPO, affects spouses, widows and widowers with pensions from federal, state or local government work. It reduces their Social Security benefits in some cases.

Also Check: Garnishment Of Social Security Retirement Benefits

Fers Retirement Calculator In 6 Simple Steps

Ok, if that was all a little bit of information overload, here are the simple steps to calculate your FERS retirement pension.

Here is the information you will need for the FERS Retirement Calculator:

  • Your High-3 Salary
  • Years of Service
  • Age when you will retire or age when you will start taking retirement benefits
  • And thats it! Here are the steps to make sure you are eligible and calculate your benefit:

    How Much Does Fers Retirement Pay

    How To Calculate Your FERS Pension ( In Under 4 minutes)

    The amount FERS retirement pays is based on the factors listed above. While it will be substantially less than the highest annual salary you earned while working, you’ll also very likely have Social Security for income in retirement along with any savings you were able to put away in the Thrift Savings Plan.

    Also Check: What Is A Flexible Retirement Annuity

    What Is Fers Exactly

    To fully understand how a FERS retirement pension calculator works, you have to know the basics first. FERS is a type of retirement plan that is made up of Social Security, pension, and the retirees savings.

    The pension is composed of the FERS basic benefit and the FERS supplement for certain retirees along with individual savings. The TSP is where individual savings go while contributions are also made to Social Security. Retirees with sufficient creditable service can have retirement income that is enough specifically when weighed against employees who worked in the private sector.

    To be eligible for the FERS retirement plan, you have to consider your age and your period of creditable service. Age is a major factor through MRA . The MRA varies between 55 and 57 years of age. For federal employees who want to retire before their MRA, they will not be eligible to start FERS in general.

    FERS eligibility will also involve a service requirement and this service requirement differs if you want to retire following 30 years of employment at a younger age, or if you want to retire at 63 years of age. In case you do not want to follow the service or age requirement, you can take up deferred retirement as an option. Deferred retirement refers to retired federal employees who delay taking benefits until they finally meet FERS requirements.

    How To Calculate Your Fers Retirement Benefit

    By Kurt Mears, Advance Capital Management Financial Adviser

    What every federal government employee knows is that one of your primary retirement income sources will be the FERS basic benefit. Along with Social Security, this pension-like system is a coveted form of guaranteed income. What you may not know is how exactly your FERS retirement benefit is calculated.

    The FERS system uses a specific formula based upon your years of service worked under FERS, your income and retirement age.

    Why should it matter to you? An understanding of the FERS benefit calculation can help you decide when it is the right time to retire.

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    What Is The Minimum Retirement Age For Fers

    The short answer is, it depends. Your Minimum Retirement Age is between 55 and 57 depending on when you were born. With 30 years of service, you can retire at your MRA with full benefits. With 10 years of service you can retire at your MRA with reduced benefits.

    There are an additional 2 scenarios that do not depend on your MRA: you can retire at age 62 with 5 years of service, or at age 60 with 20 years of service.

    For more detail, see the Minimum Retirement Age section above. The age you retire also factors in to the FERS retirement calculator.

    How Do I Apply For Federal Employees Retirement System


    SF-3107 – the Application for Immediate Retirement – is the form you’ll need to submit to apply for retirement. Once you do that, your personnel office will begin the process of preparing all relevant paperwork, including a form they’ll send to you to verify your federal service. Ideally, you’ll have confirmed this information is correct prior to requesting retirement so neither the federal service used to calculate your FERS benefit nor the benefit amount itself will be a surprise to you. If you are retiring early and are eligible for the FERS supplement, make sure you know what the amount of that benefit will be as well.

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    Fers Disability Computation If You Have Not Reached The Age Of Retirement

    For these calculations, the assumption is that you are under the age of 62 at the time of retirement and not eligible for voluntary retirement at that time.

    There are 3 tiers given:

    • The first 12 months of receiving FERS disability payments
    • After the first 12 months of receiving FERS disability payments
    • Once you reach age 62

    For the first 12 months, your annuity calculation will be as follows: Your base annuity is 60% of your high-3 salary.

    If you receive social security, the total amount of your social security payment is subtracted from your FERS annuity as a 100% offset.

    If your earned FERS annuity is greater than this amount, your earned annuity will be your annuity payment.

    After the first 12 months, before you reach age 62, your base annuity calculation will be reduced to 40% of your high-3 year salary.

    If you receive social security, 60% of that amount will be drawn from your annuity.

    Just like the first 12 months, your earned annuity will be your annuity payment if that amount is greater than the base annuity .

    Once you reach age 62, FERS will recalculate your annuity from that point on.

    It will be the annuity you would have had if you were able to work until the day before you turn 62 and retire under FERS. In other words, the service computation reverts to the one we outlined above.

    Who Is Eligible For Federal Employees Retirement System

    FERS eligibility is based on your age and years of creditable service. Age comes into play in the form of MRA, or Minimum Retirement Age. MRA varies between 55 and 57, and is based on when you were born. If you retire before your MRA, you typically won’t be eligible to begin FERS. There is also a service requirement as well, and that varies anywhere from 5 years if you’re retiring at age 62 or later to 30 years if you’re retiring at a much younger age. If you don’t meet the age or service requirements, deferred retirement – in which you delay taken benefits until you do meet there requirements – might be an option. Lastly, the government may offer early retirement in which these requirements can be waived. The requirements may also be waived if you are deemed to be disabled, in which case you might be able to take a disability retirement as long as you have 18 months of service.

    Read Also: Cost Of Medical Insurance In Retirement

    Fers Annuity Rollover Directly To You

    If you choose to have the FERS annuity payment made to you and over $200, then the taxable part will be subject to withholding 20% for federal income tax. This means if the payment is made to you, FERS will hold 20% of the annuitys value to pay federal taxes.

    The payment is taxed in the year in which it is received unless the payment is rolled into an IRA within 60 days after receiving it.

    Is Fers Retirement Taxed

    How to Calculate Your FERS Pension After a Divorce

    Unfortunately, your FERS retirement pension is taxable. Your pension benefit will be taxed at ordinary income rates, so be sure to account for that when figuring your annual income and expenses from all sources such as Social Security, 401 and IRA distributions, etc.

    Note that you will get your FERS contributions back tax-free , but this will generally only account for 2-5% of your total pension payment.

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    Using Opms Federal Ballpark E$timate Calculator For Fers / Csrs

    March 24, 2022My Federal Retirement

    The Federal Ballpark E$timate offered by the Office of Personnel Management can be used as a guideline for a federal employees future retirement needs. It is a retirement savings planning tool and is not to be used to get an estimate on an employees federal pension. The FBE includes projected federal CSRS and FERS annuity and Thrift Savings Plan benefits to help federal employees quickly identify approximately how much they need to save to fund a comfortable retirement.

    The FBE can be used by employees who plan to retire under the voluntary age and service rules covered by the following programs:

    • Civil Service Retirement System
    • CSRS-Offset
    • Federal Employees Retirement System

    The current version of FBE does not perform estimates for employees planning to retire under the Minimum Retirement Age + 10 rules, or those who are covered by special computation rules such as law enforcement officers and firefighters, or former federal employees who may be entitled to a deferred retirement.

    OPM suggests that federal employees within 3 years of their retirement date should contact their human resource office for an annuity estimate. Contacting the HR office well in advance of the planned retirement date is important for several reasons, including:

    • ensuring that all federal service is accounted for and creditable towards retirement
    • ensuring the employee is in the correct retirement system i.e., CSRS, CSRS Offset, or FERS.

    How To Calculate A Fers Annuity

    Shawn Plummer

    CEO, The Annuity Expert

    Have you retired from the federal government and are wondering how to calculate your FERS annuity? How much will it be each month, and when can you start getting payments? This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about your annuity. After reading this article, there should not be any unanswered questions on how to calculate a FERS annuity.

    Read Also: Military Retirement Monthly Pay Calculator

    Ways To Increase Your Fers Retirement Benefit

    What may be most important isnt how the math works, but rather how you can increase your FERS benefit. Essentially, the higher each variable of the FERS formula is, the higher your annual payment. That tells you what options you have to increase your benefit.

    1. Work longer

    Since years of service is a major determinant, delaying retirement, even if for a for years, can lead to significantly more retirement income. It also gives you more time to grow your TSP account.

    2. Move up the ladder

    A higher-paying position or a raise will boost your average high 3-year salary. This will help you in the near term, as you earn more, and in retirement with a higher benefit payout.

    3. Wait until age 62 or older to retire

    As shown above, the multiplier is greater after age 62, so it pays not to retire too early. Waiting gives you the higher multiplier and the additional years of service.

    Remember, there are three ways to become eligible for unreduced FERS benefits : you must reach Minimum Retirement Age with 30 years of service reach age 62 with 5 years of creditable service or reach age 60 with 20 years of creditable service.

    Federal employees are eligible for early retirement if they have reached their MRA and have 10 years of service. Those that elect early retirement, however, will have their basic benefit permanently reduced by 5% for each year they retire before age 62.

    How To Calculate Creditable Service*

    FERS Annuity Calculations

    A good general rule of thumb is that if you worked in a position in which you contributed to FERS, that counts as creditable service. If youre a long-time employee and worked prior to 1989, no deduction was taken for FERS, but you can elect to pay a deposit typically 1.3% of your salary to have that time counted as well towards your pension. Unused sick leave can also be used to increase creditable service.

    If you leave Federal service and withdraw your FERS deposits, you also have the option to redeposit those funds if you return to service and want those prior service years to be creditable for FERS. This page at OPM offers more detail on creditable service and the rules for less common situtations.

    Recommended Reading: Retired Federal Employee Health Insurance And Medicare

    How Is Fers Calculated

    A FERS disability retirement pay calculator works just as any other calculator does. You give the calculator a set of inputs and parameters, and the calculator gives you an answer.

    The output could be your annual payment .

    Or it could be your monthly or weekly payment. On the other hand, your output could be the total amount of money you will receive over X amount of time .

    It all depends on what you ask the calculator to give as its output. It is up to you.

    Many of the FERS retirement calculations depend on your high-3 salary. OPM defines your high-3 as the highest average basic pay you earned during any 3 consecutive years of service. Your basic pay is your basic salary paid for your position.

    This includes salary increases for which FERS retirement deductions are withheld, such as shift rates. It does not include payments for overtime, bonuses, etc. Further, if ones total service was less than 3 years, the average salary is figured by averaging basic pay during all periods of creditable Federal service.

    The best way to find your high-3 average salary is to get a FERS benefit to estimate from your Agency. This report will show the official figures that will be sent to OPM.

    While the OPM website does not have a specific calculator tool, they publish information on how they make the calculations online.

    Here, we summarize those guidelines.

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