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Wait until you choose retirement plans to pay the military deposit. You'll have an opportunity to pay your military deposit once you've received detailed information about your benefits options and made your choice. It won't matter that you're a retiree, and no longer a Federal employee. Before you're asked to choose retirement plans, OPM will give you information about your benefits under both CSRS and FERS. They will tell you how much you owe under both. They will also explain how payment of a deposit will affect your benefit, and let you know whether you will be able to receive credit for the service by taking an actuarial reduction in your annuity.
If, in the meantime, you want to know how much you'll owe so you can put the money aside, ask your agency to estimate the deposit under both CSRS and FERS rules.
Social Security benefits are based on earnings averaged over most of a worker's lifetime. Your actual earnings are first adjusted or "indexed" to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then the Social Security Administration calculates your average monthly indexed earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most. The Social Security Administration applies a formula to these earnings and arrives at your basic benefit, or "primary insurance amount" (PIA). This is the amount you would receive at your full retirement age.
As you can see from the above, the benefit computation is complex and there are no simple tables that we can give you that will tell you how much you will receive. However, there are several ways you can find out how your Social Security retirement benefit is figured:
In the coming months, OPM will be providing agencies and employees with detailed information about FERCCA, the different retirement plans, and how you make an election.
OPM wants to make sure that you receive complete counseling about your options before you make your election. Once you make your election, you cannot change it. OPM will contact you and provide you with detailed information regarding your options under FERCCA. For example, you will know how much you can expect to receive under each retirement plan, including Social Security and Thrift Savings Plan benefits. You do not have to make an election until you have had the opportunity to ask all questions you have about your retirement benefits.
We at OPM realize that some of you may be postponing retirement or other major events until your retirement coverage error is resolved. While we will provide election information and benefits counseling as soon as possible, we will make special provisions for those individuals who need to make an election immediately.
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