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FERS Information Types of Retirement

 

Overview

OPM works with your Agency's personnel and payroll office to process your annuity claim. Regardless of the type of retirement, there are actions your personnel office must take in order to process your retirement claim. You can help reduce delays in processing by submitting your application in advance and by making sure your Official Personnel Folder (OPF) is complete. If you submit your paperwork early, your personnel and payroll offices will be able to complete their action before your retirement date.

Disability

Considerations when applying for disability retirement.

Early Retirement

Early retirement outlines Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) and annuity computations as well as Discontinued Service.

Voluntary Retirement

Voluntary Retirement eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements.

Deferred Retirement

If you are a former Federal employee who was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 or the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).

Disability

When to Consider Applying for Disability Retirement

You should consider applying for disability retirement only after you have provided your employing agency with complete documentation of your medical condition and your agency has exhausted all reasonable attempts to retain you in a productive capacity, through accommodation or reassignment.

Eligibility Requirements

You must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for disability retirement:

  • You must have completed at least 18 months of Federal civilian service which is creditable under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
  • You must, while employed in a position subject to the retirement system, have become disabled, because of disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position.
  • The disability must be expected to last at least one year.
  • Your agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position and that it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same grade or pay level, within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.
  • You, or your guardian or other interested person, must apply before your separation from service or within one year thereafter. The application must be received by either OPM or your former employing agency within one year of the date of your separation. This time limit can be waived only if you were mentally incompetent on the date of separation or within one year of this date.
  • You must apply for social security disability benefits. Application for disability retirement under FERS requires an application for social security benefits. If the application for social security disability benefits is withdrawn for any reason, OPM will dismiss the FERS disability retirement application upon notification by the Social Security Administration.

Applying for FERS Disability Retirement

You must complete the following forms:

  • SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement, and
  • SF 3112, Documentation In Support of Disability Retirement
  • If you are under age 62, documentation that you have applied for social security disability benefits after you separated from your agency.

If you have been separated from Federal service for 31 days or less

Your employing agency will help you complete these forms and will forward the completed forms to OPM. However, it is your responsibility to obtain all of the information necessary for OPM to make a decision on your claim. This includes providing all of the required forms and documents.

If you have been separated from Federal service for more than 31 days

Your application for disability retirement must be received by OPM within one year after the date of your separation. If you have been separated from Federal service for more than 31 days, your former employing agency may no longer have your personnel records and may not be able to recover them in time to process your disability retirement application and submit it to OPM within the one-year time limit. Therefore, you should submit your application directly to OPM rather than to your agency.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
Post Office Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017

  • Ask your former supervisor and employing agency to complete SF 3112B, SF 3112D and SF 3112E and give them to you so you can send them to OPM.
  • If you think you will not have the completed package in time to meet the one-year time limit, send OPM the completed SF 3107 and SF 3112A, along with the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) you have asked to complete the remaining forms.

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Periodic Medical Exams to Keep Your Disability Benefit

When we approve your application for disability retirement, we may determine that based on your medical condition you will periodically have to provide us with current medical information in order to continue receiving benefits.

Paying for Periodic Medical Exams

You are responsible for paying for any medical exams that are needed. If you do not fulfill the request for evidence of continuing disability, it is likely that your benefit payments could be suspended until your continuing eligibility is established.


Changing Your Retirement to Disability Retirement

You can submit an application for disability retirement within one year after your separation from employment provided you did not elect the alternative form of annuity with a lump sum payment equal to your retirement contributions. You and your former employing agency must submit evidence that shows you became disabled while employed in a position subject to FERS coverage, and you and your agency must provide evidence that you were unable to perform useful and efficient service because of disease or injury in the position you retired from. Your former agency will also have to certify that it could not reasonably accommodate your condition. Moreover, you must not have declined an offer of reassignment to a vacant position in the commuting area at the same grade or pay level and tenure.

If you change to disability retirement, you will lose your special retirement supplement. This supplement is not paid to individuals who retire on disability.


Termination of FERS Disability Benefit

If you are under age 60, your benefit will stop if:

  • You are found to be medically recovered from your disabling condition;
  • In any calendar year your income from wages and self-employment is at least 80 percent of the current rate of basic pay from the position you retired from (also known as restoration to earning capacity); or
  • You are reemployed in the Federal service in a position equivalent to what you held at retirement (also called “administratively recovered”).

Reinstatement of Disability Benefit if it Stops

  • If your disability benefit stopped because you were found recovered either medically or administratively, your benefit can resume only if the disability recurs and you do not exceed the 80 percent earnings limitation.
  • If your disability stopped because you exceeded the earnings limitation, your benefit can resume effective the first of the year after you no longer exceed the 80 percent earnings limit.

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Disability Retirement Computation

FERS disability benefits are computed in different ways depending on the annuitant’s age and amount of service at retirement. In addition, FERS disability retirement benefits are recomputed after the first twelve months and again at age 62, if the annuitant is under age 62 at the time of disability retirement.

FERS Disability Computation if

  • Age 62 or older at retirement, or
  • Meet the age and service requirements for immediate voluntary retirement

You receive your “earned” annuity based on the general FERS annuity computation, as follows

AgeFormula
If age 62 or older at retirement with less than 20 years of service, or 1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service
Under age 62 qualified for an immediate voluntary retirement
If age 62 or older with 20 or more years of service 1.1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service

FERS Disability Computation if

  • Under age 62 at retirement, and
  • Not eligible for immediate voluntary retirement
Under Age 62Formula
For the first 12 months

60% of your high-3 average salary minus 100% of your Social security benefit for any month in which you are entitled to Social Security benefits

However, you are entitled to your “earned” annuity, if it is larger than this amount. 

After the first 12 months

40% of your high-3 average salary minus 60% of your Social Security benefit for any month in which you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

However, you are entitled to your “earned” annuity, if it is larger than this amount.

When you reach age 62 your annuity will be recomputed using an amount that essentially represents the annuity you would have received if you had continued working until the day before your 62nd birthday and then retired under FERS.

If your actual service, plus the credit for time as a disability annuitant equals less than 20 years::
1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service

If your actual service, plus the credit for time as a disability annuitant equals 20 or more years:
1.1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service


Total Service used in the computation:

  • will be increased by the amount of time you have received a disability annuity

Average Salary used in the computation:

  • will be increased by all FERS cost-of-living increases paid during the time you received a disability annuity.

Note: Disability annuities for individuals who performed service in an enhanced position such as law enforcement officer, firefighter, nuclear materials courier, air traffic controller, Capitol Police, or Supreme Court Policy will be credited at the higher 1.7% for that service.

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Reductions in Disability Annuity

Survivor Benefits

If you are married, your benefit will be reduced for a survivor benefit, unless your spouse consented to your election of less than a full survivor annuity. If the total of the survivor benefit(s) you elect equals 50% of your benefit, your annuity is reduced by 10%. If the total equals 25%, the reduction is 5%.

Unpaid Service if “earned” annuity paid

If you have a CSRS component in your annuity, the CSRS portion of your benefit will be reduced by 10% of any deposit owed for CSRS non-deduction service performed before October 1, 1982, unless the deposit was paid before retirement.


Cost of Living Adjustments for FERS Disability Retiree

If you are under age 62, and your annuity was computed using 60% of your high-3 average salary, COLA’s are not payable for the first 12 months. COLAs which occur after this 12-month period are payable. If you are age 62 at retirement or if you meet the age and service requirements for an immediate FERS annuity, all cost-of-living adjustments occurring after the commencing date of annuity are payable.


Entitlement to Other Benefits-Effect on FERS Disability Benefit

Social Security Benefits

If you are under age 62 and your annuity benefits were computed using either 60% or 40% of your high-3 average salary, the Office of Personnel Management will reduce your monthly annuity by all or a portion of your Social Security benefits. While you are receiving an annuity computed using the 60% computation, OPM must reduce your monthly annuity by 100% of any Social Security disability benefit to which you are entitled. While you are receiving an annuity computed using the 40% computation, your monthly annuity will be reduced by 60% of any Social security disability benefit to which you are entitled. This reduction only applies for months in which you are concurrently entitled to both FERS and Social Security benefits.

Receipt of disability benefits from the Office of Personnel Management and total or partial disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) at the same time

Generally, you must decide which benefit is most advantageous for you and elect to receive that one. If you decide you want to receive Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. However, if your OWCP benefits stop, you can ask us to pay your FERS disability benefit. You can receive an OWCP “Scheduled Award” and the Office of Personnel Management benefits at the same time. Contact us to tell us if you are awarded workers' compensation benefits and see if you need to make an election between benefits.

Refer to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) for additional information about workers' compensation benefits.

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Early Retirement

MRA+10 Retirement

If you have 10 or more years of service, you can retire at the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).

Age Reduction

Under this type of retirement, your annuity will be reduced for each month that you are under age 62. The reduction is 5% per year (5/12 of a percent per month). However, your annuity will not be reduced if you completed at least 30 years of service, or if you completed at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60.

You can reduce or eliminate this age reduction if you choose to have your annuity begin at a date later than your Minimum Retirement Age. You can choose any beginning date between your MRA and 2 days before your 62nd birthday.

Determine Your MRA
If your year of birth is…Your Minimum Retirement Age is…
Before 1948 55 years
1948 55 years, 2 months
1949 55 years, 4 months
1950 55 years, 6 months
1951 55 years, 8 months
1952 55 years, 10 months
1953 to 1964 56 years
1965 56 years, 2 months
1966 56 years, 4 months
1967 56 years, 6 months
1968 56 years, 8 months
1969 56 years, 10 months
After 1969 57 years

Early Optional Retirement

If your agency undergoes a major reorganization, reduction in force, or transfer of function, and a significant percentage of the employees will be separated, or will be reduced in pay, the head of your agency can ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to permit early optional retirement for eligible employees. If your agency gets approval to permit early optional retirements, eligible employees will be notified of the opportunity to retire voluntarily.


Discontinued Service Retirement Because of an Involuntary Separation

The term “involuntary separation” means any separation against the will and without the consent of the employee, other than “for cause” for misconduct or delinquency. The most common cause of an involuntary separation is a reduction in force. Another frequent cause for an involuntary separation is when the location of an office or unit is moved to an area outside the commuting area of the old worksite*. Employees who decline reasonable offers of other positions are not eligible for discontinued service annuities.

*Exception: If, when you accepted your current position, you were placed under a general mobility agreement whereby you would be subject to geographic reassignment, you would not be eligible for discontinued service annuity rights if your position is moved to an area outside the commuting area.

If your agency

  • makes you a reasonable offer and you choose to decline the offer and resign, you will not qualify for discontinued service retirement, or
  • separates you by adverse action procedures for not complying with a directed reassignment to a position that is a “reasonable offer”

your separation would not be qualifying for discontinued service.

Reasonable Offer

  • Written offer of another position in your agency and commuting area for which you are qualified, and
  • Which is no more than two grades or pay levels below your current grade or pay level.

Commuting Area

Geographic area that usually constitutes one area for employment purposes. It includes any population center (or two or more neighboring ones) and the surrounding localities in which people live and reasonably can be expected to travel back and forth daily in their usual employment.


Eligibility Requirements for Early Optional Retirement and Discontinued Service Retirement Because of an Involuntary Separation

AgeYears of Service Needed
(At least 5 years must be civilian service)
50 20
Any 25

Annuity Computation

Here is how the basic FERS annuity formula is calculated:

FERS Basic Annuity Formula
AgeFormula
  • Under Age 62 at Separation for Retirement or
  • Age 62 or Older With Less Than 20 Years of Service
1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service
  • Age 62 or Older at Separation With 20 or More Years of Service
1.1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service

Reductions in Annuity

In addition to the regular reductions for survivor benefits, unpaid service and refunded service, your annuity would be subject to the following age reduction:

  • If you retire under the MRA+10 provision
    • If you have 10 or more years of service and retire at the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA), your benefit will be reduced by 5/12 of 1% for each full month (5% per year) that you were under age 62 on the date your annuity began. However, your annuity will not be reduced if you complete at least 30 years of service, or if you complete at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60.
    • If you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, the age reduction will be reduced or eliminated.
    • The age reduction applies to both the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System components of your annuity, if you transferred to FERS and part of your annuity is computed under the CSRS provision.
  • If you retire under the discontinued service or early optional retirement provision with a CSRS Component
    • If you retire on a discontinued service retirement or early optional retirement because your agency was undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force or transfer of function, and part of your benefit was computed under CSRS rules, the CSRS portion will be reduced if you are under age 55. The reduction is 1/6 of 1% (2% per year) for every month that you are under age 55 at the time of retirement.

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Voluntary Retirement

Age and Service Requirements for Voluntary Retirement

Eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements. If you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible for a voluntary immediate retirement benefit. An immediate annuity is one that begins within 30 days after your separation.

Type of RetirementMinimum AgeMinimum ServiceSpecial Requirements
Voluntary (Optional) 62 5 None
60 20 None
MRA* 30 None
MRA* 10

None

Note: Annuity is reduced by 5% for each year the employee is under age 62.)

Any age 25 You must retire under special provisions for air traffic controllers, law enforcement, firefighter or Military Reserve Technician personnel.
50 20
Any age 25 OPM must have determined that your agency is undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force, or transfer of function.
50 20
Determine Your MRA
If your year of birth is…Your Minimum Retirement Age is…
Before 1948 55 years
1948 55 years, 2 months
1949 55 years, 4 months
1950 55 years, 6 months
1951 55 years, 8 months
1952 55 years, 10 months
1953 to 1964 56 years
1965 56 years, 2 months
1966 56 years, 4 months
1967 56 years, 6 months
1968 56 years, 8 months
1969 56 years, 10 months
After 1969 57 years

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MRA (Minimum Retirement Age) + 10 Retirement

Age Reduction

If you have 10 or more years of service and are retiring at the Minimum Retirement Age, your annuity will be reduced for each month that you are under age 62. The reduction is 5% per year (5/12 of a percent per month). However, your annuity will not be reduced if you completed at least 30 years of service, or if you completed at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60. You can reduce or eliminate this age reduction by postponing the beginning date of your annuity.

Postponing the Beginning Date of Annuity to Reduce or Avoid the Age Reduction

You can reduce or eliminate the age reduction if you choose to have your annuity begin at a date later than the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). You can choose any beginning date between your MRA and 2 days before your 62nd birthday. However, you cannot begin your annuity while you are reemployed with the federal government.

If you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, you should be aware of the following

Life Insurance

You cannot continue your life insurance coverage unless you are receiving an annuity. Therefore, if you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, your life insurance enrollment will terminate. When your annuity begins, if you meet the usual requirements for continuing coverage into retirement at separation, the life insurance coverage you had when you separated from your employment will resume.

Health Insurance

If you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, you will be eligible to temporarily continue your health benefits coverage for 18 months from the date of separation from your employing agency; however, you must contact your agency within 60 days and pay the total premium, plus a 2% administrative charge. When your annuity payments begin, if you had Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage for the 5 years of service immediately before you separated, you will again have the opportunity to enroll in a health benefits plan under the regular FEHB program, and OPM will pay the Government share of the premium.

Long Term Care Insurance

If you already have Long Term Care Insurance Coverage when you separate for retirement, but postpone the commencing date of your annuity, your coverage will continue as long as you continue to pay premiums. If you are not enrolled in the Long Term Care Insurance Program when you separate for retirement, you can apply for enrollment anytime after your separation, even if you postpone the commencing date of your annuity.

COLAs

If you delay your annuity beginning date, your annuity rate will not include any cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that occur before you begin to receive the annuity. Once your annuity begins, you will be entitled to COLAs on any portion of your annuity which was computed under CSRS rules. However, you will not receive COLAs on the FERS part of your benefit until you are 62.

Survivor Benefits

If you defer receipt of your annuity and die before you begin to receive it, your spouse can still receive FERS survivor benefits.


Computation of Annuity

Go to the Computation Page to see how an annuity is calculated.

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Deferred Retirement

If you are a former Federal employee who was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 or the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).

Age and Service Requirements

You are eligible for a deferred annuity if you meet one of the following age and service requirements:

  • You have completed at least 5 years of creditable civilian service, then you are eligible for a deferred annuity beginning the first day of the month after you reach age 62
  • You have completed at least 10 years of creditable service, including 5 years of civilian service, then you are eligible for a deferred annuity beginning the first day of the month after you reach the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA)*
Determine Your MRA
If your year of birth is…Your Minimum Retirement Age is…
Before 1948 55 years
1948 55 years, 2 months
1949 55 years, 4 months
1950 55 years, 6 months
1951 55 years, 8 months
1952 55 years, 10 months
1953 to 1964 56 years
1965 56 years, 2 months
1966 56 years, 4 months
1967 56 years, 6 months
1968 56 years, 8 months
1969 56 years, 10 months
After 1969 57 years

Age Reduction

If you completed at least 10 years, but less than 30 years of creditable service before you left Federal service years, your annuity will be reduced if it begins before age 62. The only exception to this is if you had at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60.

Your annuity will be reduced by 5/12 of 1 percent (5 percent per year) for each month by which your benefit commencing date precedes your 62nd birthday. However, you can postpone the commencing date of your annuity to reduce or eliminate this age reduction.


Health Benefits and Life Insurance Coverage

If you receive a deferred annuity, you are not eligible to continue any health benefits or life insurance coverage you had while employed.

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Retiree Annuity Supplement

Former employees who receive a deferred annuity are not eligible for the retiree annuity supplement.


Commencing Date of Deferred Retirement

Retirement With 10 or More Years of Service

The annuity begins either:

  • the first day of the month after the former employee attains the MRA, or
  • later date specified by the retiree, in order to reduce or avoid the age reduction

Retirement With At Least 5 Years But Less Than 10 Years of Service

The annuity begins:

  • first day of the month after the individual reaches age 62

Survivor Annuity

If you are married when your annuity begins, it will be computed with a reduction to provide a maximum survivor annuity (50 percent of your unreduced annuity) for your spouse upon your death. You can elect to provide a partial survivor annuity (25 percent of your unreduced annuity) or no survivor annuity; however, you must get your spouse's consent to elect either of these options. You can also elect a survivor annuity for a former spouse or an insurable interest survivor annuity.


Computation of Deferred Annuity

Your deferred annuity is based on the length of service and high-3 average salary in effect when you separated from Federal service.

Go to the FERS Computation page.


Applying for Deferred Annuity

Form to Use

Use form RI 92-19, Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement to apply for deferred or postponed retirement annuity under the Federal Employees Retirement System. Use form RI 92-19A, Applying for Deferred or Postponed Retirement under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for instructions on how to complete the RI 92-19.

When to Apply

Send your application to OPM approximately 60 days before you want your benefits to begin. Send your completed application to:

Office of Personnel Management
Federal Employees Retirement System
P.O. Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017-0045

If You Die Before Applying for a Deferred Annuity

If you have less than 10 years of creditable service or no eligible survivor, any contributions remaining in the retirement fund are paid in a lump sum (with interest) to your designated beneficiary or an individual in order of precedence as set by law.

If you have 10 or more years of creditable service for which withholdings or deposits remain in the Retirement fund (5 years of which is creditable civilian service) and your spouse was married to you at the time of your separation from Federal service, he/she would be eligible for a survivor annuity. Your surviving spouse may elect to receive a lump-sum payment of your retirement contributions in lieu of a survivor annuity.

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FERS Annuity Supplement

The FERS annuity supplement is paid in addition to gross monthly Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity benefits. It represents what you would receive for your FERS civilian service from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is calculated as if you were eligible to receive SSA benefits on the day you retired. Eligibility for the annuity supplement continues until the earlier of:

  • The last day of the month before the first month for which you would be entitled to actual social security benefits, or
  • The last day of the month in which you reach age 62.

Eligibility for the Annuity Supplement

If you retire voluntarily on an immediate annuity which is not reduced for age, you may be eligible for the annuity supplement, in addition to your regular monthly FERS benefit. You may also receive the supplement if you retired involuntarily before attaining your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) or voluntarily because of a major reorganization, reduction in force, or an early retirement for Members of Congress. However, in these three instances, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement until you reach your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). If you receive a deferred benefit, a disability benefit or an immediate MRA+10 benefit, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement.

If your annuity has a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) component, you can still receive an annuity supplement. However, you must have completed one full calendar year of service subject to FERS computation rules.


Computation of Annuity Supplement

The FERS annuity supplement is computed as if you were age 62 and fully insured for a social security benefit when the supplement begins. OPM first estimates what your full career (40 years) social security benefit would be. Then we calculate the amount of your civilian service under FERS and reduce the estimated full career social security benefit accordingly. For example, if your estimated full career social security benefit would be $1,000 and you had worked 30 years under FERS, we would divide 30 by 40 (.75) and multiply ($1,000 x .75 = $750). The result would be your FERS annuity supplement, prior to any reductions.


Changes in the Amount of the Supplement

Like social security benefits, the FERS annuity supplement is subject to an earnings test. It is reduced if you earn more than the social security exempt amount of earnings in the immediately preceding year. The supplement is reduced by $1.00 for every $2.00 of earnings over the minimum level. It is possible that the supplement could reduce to $0. However, the FERS basic benefit will not be reduced. If you are receiving a supplement, you must report your earnings to OPM. You will receive instructions on how to report your earnings, once you begin receiving the annuity supplement.


Minimum Level of Earnings

The amount you may earn without affecting your FERS annuity supplement is determined by the Social Security Administration each year. It increases with the annual increases in average wages for the national workforce.


Definition of Earnings

The FERS basic benefit is not considered earnings when determining your earnings for the earnings test. Earnings for the year consist of the sum of wages for service performed in the year, plus all net earnings from self-employment for the year, minus any net loss from self-employment for the year.

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