Medical Retirement under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS): Money

We all groan about it (well, perhaps there does exist a 1% who never worries about it).  We complain and moan.  There is never enough.  When an unexpected amount is received, it provides a momentary thrill.

Idealists bemoan it but recognize its transactional necessity in an economy no longer viable in bartering terms; talking heads who self-proclaim to be “financial experts” (whatever species of animals they are, no one knows) talk about value, worth, “printing too much”, “pumping” too little, etc., leaving us all confused.  In the end, it is always a matter of, “How much”.

For Federal Employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from OPM, the question of “how much” is a simple calculus of receiving 60% of the average of one’s highest-3 consecutive years of Federal Service for the first year, then 40% every year thereafter until age 62, at which point the annuity gets recalculated based upon the total number of years of service when you reach age 62, including the time that you are on disability retirement.

Thus, you are actually “building up” your regular retirement by being on disability retirement, as those years you are on disability retirement count towards your total number of years of service when recalculated at age 62.

Imagine that — you receive an annuity (money) while on disability retirement, and at the same time, you are building up your retirement system so that, when you turn age 62, those years you were on disability retirement are calculated and added on to the years of Federal Service you had before you went on disability retirement.  It is money well earned and deserved.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer