USPS FERS Annuity Estimates Are Too Low Between MRA and age 62

June 14, 2009 by
Filed under: Articles, FERS, opm, usps 

The USPS is failing to follow OPM’s instructions to include the FERS annuity supplement when offering VER to employees between MRA (55-57) and age 62.  (see attached documents)  This is something new that didn’t exist under CSRS.  HRSSC is hopelessly inept these days due to inadequate trained staff.  The USPS is starting to get substantial numbers of VER-eligible FERS employees as FERS began 25 years ago.  The result of this oversight is their annuity estimates are too low for this age group–by $1,000 per month in the case of one person in my office.  OPM eventually awarded her the full amount, but her temporary annuity payments were way too low initially as they were based on the agency’s inaccurate estimate.  I would like to hear from others with a similar experience as I have a grievance held in abeyance on this.

FERS Annuity Estimates(PDF)

Don Cheney
Auburn WA

doncheney [at]




No Comments on USPS FERS Annuity Estimates Are Too Low Between MRA and age 62

  1. Mike on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 10:59 am
  2. I just retired from the Postal Service in March 2009 on the VERA.

    HR Shared Services(HRSSC) did not include the Special Supplement amount in the annuity estimate, although if you request it, they’ll give you a close estimate to how much you’ll get from it. HRSSC has some employees that are clueless and offer inaccurate information. I’d advise you call HRSSC numerous times, to compare information given from them (some are retirement specialists and others aren’t).

    OPM then told me it would be 120 days before I’d get the accurate amount in my annuity and Special Supplement. Although, it took OPM only 1 month, to figure out and pay me my correct annuity and Special Supplement.

    Remember you only get the Special Supplement between the MRA (Minimum Retirement Age) and age 62.

    My Special Supplement came out to $665 per month. I had 22 years with the Postal Service.
    Total after taxes and medical expenses:
    Annuity for 22 years and Special Supplement combined total $1,354 monthly. Because it’s so low, I had to take $1,083 per month from my TSP.
    The TSP funds will last 10 years…I’m in the “G” Fund..low paying…but safe.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Dave on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 5:18 pm
  4. Mike, what was the amount of your age 62 social security estimate. I want to see how close your supplement was to the formula (estimate x 30/40)


  5. Dave on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 5:21 pm
  6. Mike,

    I meant to say estimate x 22/40 as you had 22 years.

  7. Confused on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 6:47 pm
  8. I thought you had to have 25 yrs plus MRA to get this supplement??

  9. two years to go on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 8:03 pm
  10. Confused, not true.

  11. two years to go on Sun, 14th Jun 2009 8:05 pm
  12. Mike, on your figure from Special Supplement, is that figure after taxes???

  13. retired 1 on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 2:16 am
  14. I retired in January under the VER program… I reach my MRA in September. Is the supplement automatic? or do I have to make a special application to receive it? thanks

  15. Confused on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 5:18 am
  16. If you haved reached your MRA…how many years service do you have to have in order to get the supplement? Does this affect your social security when you turn 62?

  17. two years to go on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 7:28 am
  18. Confused best thing to do is phone the HR at 1-877-477-3273 option 5. They should answer all your questions.

  19. two years to go on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 7:30 am
  20. Retired 1, The way I read it in my pamplet that you should be getting it the following month after you retire. Are you saying you are not getting it? I would also phone HR and see what they suggest.

  21. alsocrazed on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 7:50 am
  22. hey, I think the FERS MRA thing has my retirement specialist TRAINEE totally messed up. With a hi 3 of 63,400, and 24 years in, I was awarded 2100. INITIALLY, and a YEAR LATER, was recalculated PERMANENTLY !!!! to 1350, minus an extra 200. a month for the SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR overpayment. As I said before, isn’t the same basic formula everywhere? So now I am extremely broke.
    Hey, I know, maybe as an ANNUITANT I can come back and work windows and pay myself back in stamps and money orders!! Forever stamps at least, so, you know, they INCREASE in value over the years!!! COME ON GANG JUST KIDDING!

  23. GlennDL on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 11:25 am
  24. The supplement only applies if you are age 60 OR MRA retiring under a VERA. No it does not affect your Social Security, it is totally seperate. Your Vera blue pamphlet and the OPM website should have the formula. This is FERS only.

  25. Mr Supplement on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 11:52 am
  26. You will receive the supplement at your mra with 30 yrs service, or less than 30 under a vera.
    …at 60 with 20 years.

    Supplement based on civilian government service, not military.

    The payment should start automatically average one month after mra, if

    The supplement will stop when you turn 62.

  27. Old Joe on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 2:29 pm
  28. The supplement is calculated only for the quarters of federal service, not for all your quarters of paying into social security. Those who have worked outside the federal system will not have their supplement calculated using their non-federal quarters and and pay. When you reach social security age, you will receive payment for all social security credited quarters and pay.

  29. G on Mon, 15th Jun 2009 4:32 pm
  30. Is not the Union suppose to represent us in this retirement offer (VER). Perhaps a class action lawsuit is needed to make all the Postal Unions aware of their responibilities to the paying members. With the peoples money we now own GM, and we are offering their employees 50,000 and up for incentive to retire, What about the USPS employees where is our offer.

  31. PigDaddy on Tue, 16th Jun 2009 2:29 pm
  32. The million dollar question. I calculated I’d receive a tad over $600 for my Social Security Supplement. The Question: Is this amount monthly or yearly? If monthly….it’s a great supplement.

  33. Mike on Tue, 16th Jun 2009 7:39 pm
  34. two years to go,

    Yes, that figure is after taxes.


    At 62 I would receive $1,200 from social security per month.

  35. Mike on Tue, 16th Jun 2009 8:16 pm
  36. PigDaddy,

    The $600 is monthly until age 62.

  37. joe on Thu, 18th Jun 2009 12:19 am
  38. This is ridiculous, but the lower right corner of our pay stubs have a small amount of cash in a block marked “USPS RETIREMENT”. I get differing opinions in our office as to what that amount is.

  39. Al Swearengen on Sat, 20th Jun 2009 1:46 am
  40. Forget HRSSC. Go to the OPM website. There are calculators available.

  41. Underdog on Sat, 20th Jun 2009 9:28 am
  42. Hey G, the Union doesn’t “represent” you on the VERA. That’s a personal decision you make. If you ask them, they’ll tell you what they think. I’d like to think I’m an adult and can decide for myself.

  43. starkeep on Tue, 23rd Jun 2009 5:12 pm
  44. Why doesnt anyone maention people are penalized for working with this supplement. anyting over
    14000 is penalized and your supplement is less. crap in myopinin i worked hard and deserve no penalty.

  45. Letter Carrier on Sat, 27th Jun 2009 6:43 am
  46. starkeep with your bad spelling its a wonder u can read any mails at all.

  47. bugg on Tue, 30th Jun 2009 7:06 pm
  48. Hey Joe

    That number in the bottom right hand corner of your check is what you have vested in your retirement. if you voluntarily leave the service prior to retiring you would be refunded that amount.

  49. Kathy on Sun, 9th Aug 2009 7:37 pm
  50. I was told by a co-worker that went to a retirement seminar that if one was MRA then they would get the SS Supplement when they retired. Need not have to be under a VERA. A lot of misinformation on these boards. Mike your post really helped. Thanks

  51. Robert Schwalb on Thu, 13th Aug 2009 12:32 pm
  52. i RETIRED IN 1/31/05 AT AGE 56 WITH 23 YRS. i DID NOT
    bob Schwalb

  53. rose on Mon, 31st Aug 2009 3:03 pm
  54. i retired in 8/1/08 at age 591/2 i did not receive the suppelment under fers i turn 60 in jan do i get the supplement did not retire under vera