Q: If you take the FERS refund, what portion of the contributions do you get back? For example, if my annual federal salary is $92,000, I contribute $740.00 (.8%) and the government contributes $10,420.00 (11.2%). Do I get back $11,160.00, both my contribution to FERS ($740) and the government contribution to FERS ($10,420.00)?
A: There is a good bit of information on the OPM site, but the simple answer to your question is that you get what you contributed and not what the government contributed.
For that reason, if you have 5 or more years of creditable service, you would be eligible to receive the FERS pension under deferred retirement (and you also keep the years you have accrued if you decide to return to the Federal government later in your career). In that instance, it’s usually a much better idea to opt for the deferred retirement, but without knowing what your specific situation is, I can’t say with certainty that that is the best option for you.
Micah Porter is President and CEO of Minerva Planning Group, a CFA charterholder, and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. He began work at Minerva in 2003 with extensive experience in business planning and corporate finance.