Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

15 years vs. 20 years

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Q. I am 45 years old with 15 years of FERS. My job is being moved 85 miles away and I am trying to determine the benefit (if any) to my FERS pension (beyond the addition of five years to the total) of continuing on five more years until I have 20 years and am 50 years old. Resign now with 15 years at 45 years old vs. tough out the drive for five more years and resign at 20 years at 50 years old? What advantage is there to this (if any) on my FERS pension?

A. If you resigned now, you wouldn’t be eligible for a deferred annuity until age 62. If you retired with 20 years of service, you’d be eligible for one at age 60. Further, your annuity would be 15 percent of your high-3 if you left after 15 years; 20 percent if you left after 20. On top of that, any step increases, promotions or annual pay adjustments during those additional five years would boost the gross amount of your annuity, as would a higher sick leave balance.

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