How to Calculate Federal Retirement

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The U.S. government offers retirement benefits to its employees that aim to compete with private sector retirement benefits. Federal pensions depend on your career, years of service and age. They also depend on your salary, as benefits are calculated as a percentage of your salary.

Standard Employees

Step 1

Calculate the average of your salary for your three highest-paid years. This is usually your last three years but does not have to be.

Step 2

Multiply your three-year average by 1 percent for each year of service if you were a federal employee who worked for less than 20 years. If you worked 10 years, multiply your three-year average by 10 percent.

Step 3

Multiply your three-year average by 1.1 percent for each year of service if you worked more than 20 years. If you worked 25 years, multiply your three-year average by 27.5 percent (25 x 1.1).

Special Employees

Step 1

Pension rates are higher if you worked as an FBI officer, nuclear material coordinator, air traffic controller, firefighter, Capitol police officer,or Supreme Court police officer.

Calculate the average of your three highest-paid years.

Step 2

Multiply this average by 1.7 percent of the amount of years you worked that were less than or equal to 20. If you worked for 10 years, multiply 1.7 by 10 (17 percent). If you worked 20 years, multiply 1.7 by 20 (34 percent)

Step 3

Multiply your three-year average by 1 percent for every year you worked over 20. If you worked in a specialist position for 30 years, your first 20 are calculated by multiplying by 1.7 percent and your last 10 are calculated by multiplying by 1 percent, which is a total of 44 percent (34 percent plus 10 percent).

Tip

Try to get a raise for just a few years in your career.

Things You'll Need

  • Salary information

  • A calculator

Warning

Be sure to calculate correctly, as financial mismanagement can cause a stressful retirement.

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