Federal Retirement benefits are not always the same for every employee. If you are considered a Special Category employee, there are some distinguishable rules that you should be aware of. The categories that fall in this domain include the firefighters, law enforcement officers, and the air traffic controllers.
Retirement benefits differ for Special Category employees:
The firefighters and the law enforcing officers can retire if they are 50 years old or more. Of course, another condition in this regard would be the completion of 20 years of service. The retirement age that is mandatory for everyone is 57, and it’s only when an agency’s head thinks that it’s wise to continue can the age go up to around 60.
The main reason behind the difference in the retirement benefits is the fact that the careers of these Special Category employees last much shorter than the average employees. For example, the CSRS annuity can be calculated by taking 2.5 percent of the high-3 average pay and multiplying the answer with the 20 years of service. Follow the process by taking 2 percent of the high-3 times if there remain any years of service unaccounted for.
To calculate the FERS annuity, you will have to consider 1.7 percent of the high-3 average pay and whatever answer comes needs to be multiplied by 20 years of service. Similarly, take 1 percent of any of the remaining years of service.
The careers of the special category employees are filled with meeting and tackling situations that normal employees would never have to face, so it’s only natural for them to expect a little more compensation when it comes to getting Retirement benefits. There are other worth mentioning differences too, and they all contribute towards the effort to make the post-retirement lives of special category employees easy and comfortable.