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How to Calculate Federal Retirement

Updated on February 29, 2012

Are you a federal civilian employee?



Are you planning for your retirement?


If you are, you are likely wondering how to calculate the federal retirement payment amount.



The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a defined benefit program. Meaning, after retirement you will received that fixed amount, per month, as part of your pension for the rest of your life.


In order to calculate the amount of your federal retirement you will need:

  • · High- three salary
  • · Duration of creditable service


Once you know how to calculate your federal retirement and you find out how much money you can expect, these things can help you plan your retirement accordingly.

1. Figure out your High-three average salary. Your High-three average salary is your highest average basic pay during any three consecutive years. Normally, these years are the last three years of service because pay often increases with length of service. Basic pay includes regular wages and does not include overtime or bonus payments.


2. Calculate the length of your service. Use your service computation date (SCD) to calculate the years of service. SCD can be found on Form SF50 the Standard Federal form for Notification of Personnel Action. Then, count the number of years of service (right down to the month and days) and then convert those into years of service using the Federal Retirement Time Factor Table.


3. Compute the amount of federal retirement annuity/pension. The amount of federal retirement annuity/pension is calculated by multiplying together the high-three salary with years of creditable service and the multiplier.

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