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Regardless of where you are in your career, it’s never too early to plan for retirement.  Your first step on the path is to learn about your benefits.  You can do this by exploring the information on our Benefits website, the Office of Personnel Management’s website, and the Thrift Savings Plan website.  You can also make use of the various planning tools at your disposal.

Planning Tools

You can use the Retirement Calculator to run FERS (FERS-RAE/FERS-FRAE) or CSRS (CSRS Offset) annuity estimates for yourself whenever you like and as often as you like. It is an interactive tool that will let you plug in different retirement dates that you may be considering.  It also allows you to make different assumptions, such as what survivor benefit you want to leave your spouse or what level of life insurance you want to continue into retirement, so you can run different scenarios.

Before using this tool, it is very important to understand its limitations so you do not make faulty assumptions about the figures you will see. 

These guides can help you use the tool:

If you have any questions about the Retirement Calculator, contact us at

The Federal Ballpark Estimate is a tool that helps you quickly identify whether you have saved enough to have a comfortable retirement.

The social security retirement estimator can give you a personalized estimate of your social security benefit based upon your actual earnings history.  And the social security retirement checklist provides great planning information for this benefit.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) website offers a wealth of information and tools to help you manage your TSP and plan for retirement.  Their “living in retirement” webpage is a great place to learn about your options in retirement.
When you are close to retirement, the Retirement Checklist can help step you through the process. 

Contact your servicing Benefits Specialist when you are 2-3 years from retirement. They will perform a thorough review of your service history to ensure that you are being properly credited for all of your service and that it is properly documented.  They will also confirm your benefits entitlements and Retirement SCD for both eligibility and annuity computation purposes, prepare a detailed estimate for you, provide you with relevant counseling, and assist you through the retirement process.



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