1. Login to and go to the Landing Page. Click on the Retirement Thumbnail to open the Retirement Landing Page.
2. The retirement Landing Page is broken into 5 sections:
3. Current Information: The information displayed in this section is what the system will use to calculate your estimate.
- The Retirement SCD is used to determine how much creditable service you have toward meeting the retirement eligibility requirement. The rules for calculating Retirement SCDs and Leave SCDs (located on your Leave and Earning Statement) differ, so they may not match. The SCDs can vary based on different types of service, such as:
- Military service
- Redeposit Service: Civilian Service in which you received a refund of your retirement contributions
- Deposit Service: Civilian Service in which you never contributed to the retirement fund
- The estimated High-3 Salary in current information is not an actual high-3 calculation. It is an estimate based on 96% of your current salary. It will not capture prior periods of higher salary, if applicable; however, there is a tool for you to calculate a more accurate high-3 average salary.
- Once you have confirmed the Current Information is correct, you are ready to begin running an estimate.
- If you believe your information is incorrect, please review the “Retirement Calculator FAQ” and the “Limitations of the Retirement Calculator” links for important explanations. After reviewing those documents, if you still believe there is an error, please email the Retirement Calculator Helpdesk at APHIS.Retirement.Calculator.Helpdesk@usda.gov.
4. Estimated Monthly Retirement Benefits:
- The chart shows 5 different generic calculations that all employees can see without running any reports. These estimates are based on the default high-3 calculation and the Retirement SCD, so they may not be 100% accurate. For a more accurate calculation or to adjust the specific parameters used in the calculation, employees may utilize the Retirement Calculator and/or High-3 Calculator.
- Employees should focus on the Unreduced & MRA+10 (Minimum Retirement Age) or the estimates in most cases, depending on what type of retirement they qualify for. The other types will not apply to most employees.
- How to read the Estimated Monthly Retirement Benefits chart by column headers:
5. High-3 Calculator:
The High-3 Calculator can be used to get a more accurate average salary. The calculator runs only to a specific retirement date, so you may have to run the calculator multiple times if you are comparing different retirement dates. Once you close the High-3 Calculator, the information you entered will be lost, so you will have to remember any high-3 calculations that you run. Additionally, the salary history that you entered will be lost, so you will have to re-enter everything if you close the calculator and wish to re-open it.
Note: You may find it helpful to list out your salary history beforehand so that if you close the calculator, you can easily re-enter the information. You can pull your salary information by reviewing your Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) in your MyEPP page or by reviewing your SF-50s in your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF).
- To get started, click on the hyperlink “High-3 Calculator” in red letters at the bottom of the “Estimated Monthly Retirement Benefits” section.
- Below the box on the right side of the pop-up window, enter in the “Pay Effective Date” and the “Annual Pay Rate” for the first salary. Click the “Add” button to add the salary period in the history box. Repeat this step until you have entered all successive salaries from the starting date through the projected retirement date. If you incorrectly enter a salary or start date, check the box on the corresponding line and click the delete button to remove it from the history box. You can then re-enter the correct information.
- In “Estimated Date of Retirement:” enter the retirement day you are projecting in the “MM/DD/YYYY” format.
- Once you have entered the complete salary history and the estimate retirement date, click the “Compute” button. The system will generate the High-3 Salary for the specified retirement date in the section at the bottom of the window. It will also list the specific three years that was used to make that calculation.
Hint: As long as you don’t click on the cancel button, you can calculate multiple High-3 calculations for various dates without re-entering the salary data. To calculate a High-3 Salary for a different retirement date, change the “Estimated Date of Retirement” to the next retirement date that you want to project and click “Compute” again.
Hint: Don’t forget to mark down the calculated High-3 salary and corresponding retirement date to use later in the Retirement Calculator. To get back to the main retirement page, click the “Cancel” button in the pop-up window.
6. Retirement Calculator:
Once you have calculated the High-3 salaries you wish to use, you are ready to run a Retirement Calculation.
- Benefit Type Selection: To get started, click on the hyperlink “Retirement Calculator” in red letters at the bottom of the “Estimated Monthly Retirement Benefits” section. A pop-up will show you various types of calculations you can run. For each type, there is a “First Eligible Date” to the right. You cannot run a calculation for each type before that date. Click on the retirement type you would like to run and click “Next” to continue.
Hint: Notice that there is no “Back” button. If you make an error, you will need to Cancel and Start your calculation over from the beginning.
Reminder: The primary estimate types that you will use are Voluntary, MRA+10, Deferred Retirement, or Reduced Deferred Retirement.
- Retirement Date: Enter the projected retirement date for your calculation and click the “Next” button.
- High-3 Average Salary: In the next window, you will select which High-3 Average Salary to use. You have three options for how to determine the High-3 Average for the Retirement Calculation. If you select the manual option, you can overwrite the “High-3 Average Salary” with the new calculation. Click “Next” to continue.
- Annual and Sick Leave: The system will automatically enter your current leave balances as of the last payroll run. These balances may be 1 to 2 pay periods behind. The balances will not project to the retirement date. If you want to project them, you must manually calculate any additional leave that you will use and/or earn before the retirement date.
Note: You will not earn sick or annual leave in the pay period that you retire/separate unless you work the full tour of duty for that pay period (e.g. 80 hours). After you separate, your timekeeper will do an audit and certify your final unused leave balances.
- Survivor Benefits: Select the type of survivor benefit that you would like to leave for your current and/or former spouse, or for your Insurable Interest (if applicable). Click “Next” to continue.
Note: If you are married and elect “No Benefit,” your spouse will not be eligible to continue FEHB after your death.
- FEHB: The FEHB (Federal Employee Health Benefits) screen will automatically project the current Health Insurance plan in which you are enrolled, if applicable. This coverage will automatically transfer into retirement, if eligible. Select from the drop-down if you will be cancelling your insurance prior to retirement or do not meet the 5-year requirement to continue FEHB into retirement. Click “Next” to continue.
Note: Retirement is not a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) to make changes to your Health Insurance Coverage.
- FEGLI: The FEGLI (Federal Employee Group Life Insurance) screen will allow you to select the amount of coverage at the reduction rate that you want to continue into retirement. For more information about your FEGLI options in retirement, please watch the FEGLI video in the Resource Library or use the calculator at the following link: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/calculators/fegli-calculator/. If you are not currently enrolled in an option, the calculator will not allow you to project benefits for that option.
Current Coverage: This section is where you elect which options and how many multiples to continue into retirement. This doesn’t affect your coverage as an employee, only your Retirement Calculator projections.
Elected Coverage: This section is where you elect which reduction options you want for each option that you marked to continue into retirement. Click “Next” to continue.
Taxes & Alternative Form of Annuity: This is where you can choose your tax reduction options for your Retirement Calculation.
- If you do not want taxes projected, leave the box unchecked.
- If you want taxes projected, select the “Compute federal tax withholding” checkbox. Select the appropriate Filing Status, Number of Exemptions, and enter any additional money you want withheld from your annuity.
Note: This tool has not been updated to apply current tax laws. Please seek guidance from a professional tax advisor if you have questions about taxes.
Click “Done” to complete the calculation. Your calculation will pop up. This calculation will not automatically save anywhere, so you must save/print your file if you want to be able to access it later, or you can run the calculation again. For information on how to interpret the data in your calculation, visit the link “How to interpret the retirement estimate report.”