If you’re a U.S. Postal Service worker, your retirement benefits are administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Depending on when you began your federal service career, your retirement is managed under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System. The CSRS and FERS each have their own formula for calculating annuities due to postal workers.
Determine if you are a FERS federal employee. If you began your postal service career after Jan. 1, 1987, your retirement benefits are calculated using the FERS formula.
Calculate your High-3 salary. Determine your highest annual basic pay for three consecutive years. For most employees, the highest basic pay is from the last years of employment. Include your base rate and applicable shift differential in your calculation. Do not include overtime or bonuses you receive. Divide the total by three to determine your High-3 salary figure.
Calculate your annual annuity amount. If you’re under 62, or 62 or older with less than 20 years of service, convert your number of service years to a percentage and multiply your High-3 figure by the number. The result is your annual annuity amount.
For example, if you have 19 years of service and your High-3 salary is $60,000, multiply $60,000 by .19. Your annuity amount is $11,400.
Calculate your annuity amount if you’re 62 or older with at least 20 years of service. Multiply your number of service years by 1.1 percent (.011). Multiply the result by your High-3 salary figure.
For example, if you have 25 years of service, your percent figure is .275. If your High-3 salary is $60,000, the equation is $60,000 multiplied by .275. Your annuity amount is $16,500.
Divide your annual annuity amount by 12 to determine your gross monthly benefit payment.
Determine if the start date of your postal service career qualifies you for retirement under the CSRS formula. If you started your job before Dec. 31, 1986, you can use the CSRS formula.
Calculate your High-3 salary. This is an average of your highest annual salary amounts. Determine the three consecutive years that you earned your highest salary. Total the three annual amounts and divide by three. The result is your High-3 amount.
Calculate your annuity. Your annual annuity amount is the sum of three separate calculations that represent the number of service years you worked. For the first calculation, multiply your High-3 amount by 1.5 percent (.015) and multiply the result by 5. The result represents the calculation for your first five years of service.
Multiply your High-3 salary amount by 1.75 percent (.0175) and multiply the result by 5. The result represents the calculation for your second five years of service.
Multiply your High-3 salary amount by 2 percent (.02) and multiply the result by your remaining years of service. Your remaining years of service for this step equal your total years of service minus 10 (the number of years you accounted for in the other calculations).
Total the three figures from your calculations. The result is your annual annuity amount. Divide the annual amount by 12 to determine your gross monthly benefit.
With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.