Author Topic: Federal Retirement (FERS) question  (Read 2631 times)

FC5

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« on: June 16, 2015, 11:18:30 AM »
Has anyone here bought back military time to "get credit" in FERS?

Husband had 13+ years in the military. He has 2 federal civilian years in a temp billet and just got a permanent job. In Oct it will total 16 years. We didn't buy back his time until he got a permanent job, but now the clock is running down - HR says it is $33,000 to buy back his military service, interest-free until March 2016 (was 3 years from his initial hire date in a temp billet).

Does this sound like a figure anyone else has been quoted? Coworkers have mentioned figures in the hundreds, not tens of thousands.

Thanks in advance!

mikesinWV

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: West by God

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2015, 11:34:03 AM »
I am not sure if it has changed but it used to be 3% of the total salary for those years.
So $33k would mean he made $1.1m in those 13 years, roughly $85k a year.  Was he an officer/doctor?
 

FC5

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2015, 11:40:23 AM »
nope, got out as an e6 after 13+ years...

FC5

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 11:41:48 AM »
maybe it has changed since he has to contribute 3.1% to FERS and everyone hired before 2013 contributes 0.08%?

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 11:53:32 AM »
I would have HR double check the amount and forms and show you what numbers they are using. SF3108 & SF3108a.  My coworker had 5 years, did it before 2013 and was still charged 3%, 3kish.  Total pay during those 5 years was about 100k.  Very much worth it.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 01:40:26 PM »
I'm with the others who indicated your $33K is a really high estimate.  I had OPM do a calculation for my buyback and they came back with an estimate that was 3X  what I calculated.  Turns out, they got it wrong and ammended the amount.  Its time to research the program, and do your own calculation. 

If you don't have access to actual LES's for the last 13 years, you can figure approximate amounts using the pay charts posted here:  http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/charts/historical-military-pay-rates.html

I bought back my 4 years, and am working with a co-worker on buying her 12 years back.  Its a terrific program and very much worth it.  My expense will pay for itself after the first year of pension disbursements, and after that its straight profit.  Cha-ching!

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
  • Location: High COL
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 07:17:00 AM »
I did a buy back - but it was for 4 years of service as an officer. I can't recall what the percentage was - I think it was 1% of my pay for those years - so about 3-4k total (which was more than 1% of base pay... so I am not sure what the calculation was). This was all a while ago and the details are foggy.

It is a good deal and you can pay it back with installments over the 4 years. For me it meant getting vested that much faster, nice since I intend to hang on to the 20+ year mark anyhow.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1392
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Federal Retirement (FERS) question
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 07:58:32 AM »
So the formula on this is total military pay, multiplied times 3.1%  Then, for every year you don't pay or are working on paying, it accrues interest at a very modest rate.  From my historical records:

2008   4.8%
2009   4.5%
2010   3.6%
2011   3.0%
2012   2.6%

Sorry but I don't have anything beyond 2012, but it gives you an idea of the interest accrual over time. 

In my case, 4 years of service as an officer resulted in $3800 owed, and after letting a few years pass before making payments, ended up paying a total of $4800 to buy the 4 years.  Your $33K seems way out of whack.