Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

3 questions

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Q. I started working for the Postal Service in August or September 1977 and resigned in June or July 1997 without withdrawing my retirement money. I have been working as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District since July 1997.

1. Is there any way to get specific counseling on my benefits?

2. How could I calculate my pension since I don’t know the salary rates I earned?

3. If I fill out my retirement papers now and write my wife’s name as beneficiary, what would happen if I divorce before or after starting to receive my pension?

A. 1. None that I know of. However, I can tell you that you’ll be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62.

2. Here’s the formula that will be used to compute your annuity: .015 x your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay x 5 years of service, plus .0175 x your high-3 x 5 years of service, plus .02 x your high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service. Since you don’t know what your high-3 is, you’ll have to guess.

3. You shouldn’t apply for a deferred annuity until three months before your 62nd birthday. That will reduce the likelihood of your being divorced before you are entitled to an annuity.

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