A Lesson on Calculating the FERS Supplement by Paul Kalra
There are many FERS annuitants who are able to retire prior to the age of 62, and who are eligible for the SRS (Special Retirement Supplement). You can meet such requirements if you have retired:
- Following the MRA (Minimum Retirement Age) after putting in at least 30 years of service;
- At age 60 with at least 20 years of service; or
- Upon either an early voluntary or an involuntary retirement at age 50 after having 20 or more years of service, or at any age after at least 25 years of service, when it has been determined that your agency is undergoing a major reorganization, a RIF (reduction in force) or a transfer of function. (In this situation, you will not receive the SRS until you have reached your Minimum Retirement Age).
As Social Security retirement benefits cannot be received until you reach at least the age of 62, the Special Retirement Supplement can help you with bridging your income until the time that these benefits are paid out.
In order to determine roughly how much you will receive from your SRS, you should first obtain an estimate of benefits from the Social Security Administration. Each year, Social Security provides a statement of estimated benefits, so you will be able to easily find the dollar amount of estimated benefits that you are likely to be receiving at age 62.
Next, take this dollar amount and multiply it by your years of FERS service (rounded off to the nearest whole number). Once you have done so, divide this figure by 40. This will provide you with the approximate amount of FERS supplement that you should receive.
As an example, if the amount of Social Security benefit that you are estimated to receive at age 62 is $5,000 and you have put in 30 years of FERS service, then the calculation will be as follows:
$5,000 X 30 / 40 = $4,500
In running this calculation, your estimated FERS Supplement benefit would be approximately $4,500 per month. It is important to note, however, that certain situations such as obtaining outside employment following retirement could have an impact on the amount of benefit that you ultimately receive.