How Do You Calculate Your Social Security Supplement?

By on May 29, 2014 in Q&A with 8 Comments

Q: How do you calculate your social security supplement? I have read that simply taking 75% of the amount that you would get at 62 does not work. I will be retiring 12/31/2014.My HR officer told me to apply in November. I thought it was 6 months in advance!

A: The percentage of your age 62 Social Security that is used to compute your supplement is based on the num ber of years of civilian service you have under FERS.  Your years of civilian service are divided by 40 (the number of years SS says make up a full career).  For example, if you had 30 years it would be 75%; for 20 years it would be 50%, etc.

Sounds like your HR Officer either runs a tight ship or is being optimistic.  If you wait until November to submit your papers, send them in on November 1st.

John Grobe’s latest book, The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, has just been released by LRP Publications. The book is written in an easy to understand question and answer format and covers all areas of federal benefits from the perspective of an employee at various stages of their career. Order your copy at

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.