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Whenever it comes to ensuring your financial security in retirement, the FERS annuities are a comparative steal.
What is a FERS annuity?
In 1986, Congress explicitly created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for federal civilian employees. Benefits are available under the FERS retirement plan from three main sources:
Two of the three benefits under FERS (TSP and Social Security) will go with you if you leave the federal government before retiring, according to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
What’s the value of your FERS annuity?
The government and you must make mandatory contributions to the FERS defined benefit plan. You spend less money on this benefit than Uncle Sam does. Your service history (measured in months and years and high-3 yearly pay) determines your FERS annuity.
If you retire before age 62 and have completed at least 20 years of service, you will earn an annual annuity based on 1%. If you retire after the age of 62 with at least 20 years of service, you will earn an annuity based on 1.1% per year. The 1% component is used for individuals who are 62 years or older but also have fewer than 20 years of service. Employees in particular categories (such as firefighters, police officers, air traffic controllers, etc.) would be paid a larger proportion.
How much money would you have needed to accumulate on your own to obtain a payout similar to what you will receive from your FERS annuity?
A lot of it! Consider the scenario where you have 30 years of total federal employment and retire before age 62. Your top three salaries are $100,000 annually. Once you turn 62, your FERS pension will be $30,000 per year with a cost-of-living adjustment. The COLA begins to apply when a special category employee retires.
What amount would you have to save to earn a $30,000 annual inflation-indexed income?
The consensus is that the answer is $750,000. This is based on the so-called 4% rule, which states that if you start taking withdrawals from a lump sum at 4% and adjust them for inflation each year, there is minimal risk of running out of money. The 50 years between 1926 and 1976, encompassing the Great Depression, were used to create this rule. Then, it was compared to withdrawal rates that would protect capital.
Bill Bengen, the financial planner who conducted the analysis, concluded that there wasn’t any possibility that a person who adhered to the 4% rule would’ve run out of cash in fewer than 33 years, even under exceptionally unfavorable market conditions. In reality, Bengen asserted that a 5% rate could be more practical, reducing the sum that must be amassed for the individual in our case to around $625,000.
According to a recent MetLife analysis, the average retirement fund amount is anticipated to be $450,000. However, for the individual in this scenario, that amount would not be sufficient to match the value of the FERS annuity.
Would you have been capable of replacing 30% of their pre-retirement salary with savings?
Whenever it comes to ensuring your financial security in retirement, your FERS annuities are a relative steal.
How your FERS annuity is computed
The first step is to find your current “high-3” – the highest average basic wage you have received during three consecutive years of employment. A federal employee’s high-3 pay is typically the sum of the three most recent years of compensation.
Divide your full creditable years of service by your high-3 average yearly salary, then multiply that result by 1%.
If your high-3 average is $85,000 and you’ve worked for the government for 30 years, then you qualify. Your FERS annuity would then be $2,125 per month or $25,00 per year. Your annuity will now receive a bonus if you retire after age 62 and have at least 20 years of service. You will multiply your service years and high-3 by 1.1% instead of 1%. As a result, instead of receiving $25,500 per year, as in our previous example, you would now earn $28,050 ($2,337 monthly instead of $2,125).
M. Dutton and Associates is a full-service financial firm. We have been in business for over 30 years serving our community. Through comprehensive objective driven planning, we provide you with the research, analysis, and available options needed to guide you in implementing a sound plan for your retirement. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Visit us at MarvinDutton.com . Tel. 212-951-7376: email: [email protected].