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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

Ask your question here.

The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

Your question will be put into a message queue and submitted for review. We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered, however any answered questions will appear below, and some will also be featured in our daily Federal Daily e-newsletter (Subscribe here). Members of Federal Soup will not be able to submit replies to the questions posted, as we leave the replies for the moderator only.

Please do not submit employee benefits questions to the webmaster or the forum moderator.

Note: FederalSoup.com has attempted to compile information that is as accurate and current as possible for federal employees. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. Therefore, no warranties are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this column. If additional clarification or information is needed, it is suggested that competent and professional assistance be sought. Mr. Zurndorfer does not moderate other forums on FederalSoup and will not reply to general FederalSoup inquiries submitted in this Q&A forum.

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#1 Posted : Wednesday, January 06, 2010 9:55:44 AM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/6/2010(UTC)
Posts: 6

Wife's attorney wants to get her "fair share" of my retirement.  He is contending that she should be compensated 50% of the future value of the FERS based on number of years we've been married.  For example, we've been married 23 years, 20 of which I've worked in federal service under FERS.  He contends if I retire at 57, with 32 years of service, she is entitled to 50% of 23/32nds, or 35% of the monthly annuity.
My attorney claims this is "fantasy calculation" and that she is only entitled to 50% of the present-day value of the FERS benefit where present-day value is the present-day CASH value of FERS if I were to resign from federal service today.

Question:  Where do you find, or how do you calculate "present-day" value of FERS contributions and would it include only employee contributions, or employee and agency contributions ?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, January 12, 2010 7:23:14 PM(UTC)
Ed Zurndorfer

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 4,414

To calculate the present value of one's FERS annuity, one would need a financial calculator (for example, an HP 12C) and input the following variables to the calculator: (1) the amount of the FERS annuity at the time of retirement; (2) given the age of the employee at retirement, a reasonable "life expectancy" of the just retired employee; and (3) a reasonable "discount" rate or present day "mid-term" interest rate. Here's an example: You retire at age 57 and your FERS annuity is $30,000 per year or $2,500 per month.  Using a discount rate of 4 percent and a life expectancy of 25 years, the present value of your FERS annuity is $473,631.
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