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The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. [Their] duties are wide-ranging, but [their] goal is clear: keeping America safe. (source: www.dhs.gov)

Perhaps you are working for the DHS or interested in working for the DHS. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DHS.

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iceman127  
#1 Posted : Monday, July 19, 2010 7:34:04 AM(UTC)
iceman127

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I have been with the federal government for over 36 years.  I am now 54 years old and was thinking about retiring when I hit 55.  I am under CSRS.    I have no kids and not married.  Would it be wise to take the retirement at age 55 or would it be better to retire at 58 or 62.  I am a GS-7, step 10. 
AnonymousPerson  
#2 Posted : Monday, July 19, 2010 7:47:09 AM(UTC)
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I thought if you had 30 years of federal service, you could retire with 100% of the average of the highest 3 years of salary, per year after retirement?
CarolLevin  
#3 Posted : Monday, July 19, 2010 7:51:46 AM(UTC)
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I believe that after 42 years service you retire with 80%, or thereabouts, of your high-3.
martyb  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 19, 2010 8:13:44 AM(UTC)
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iceman127 wrote:
I have been with the federal government for over 36 years.  I am now 54 years old and was thinking about retiring when I hit 55.  I am under CSRS.    I have no kids and not married.  Would it be wise to take the retirement at age 55 or would it be better to retire at 58 or 62.  I am a GS-7, step 10. 
 
 
 
 Depends on what your definition of "wise" is.  As it stands, if you retire at 55 with somewhere between 36 & 37 yrs, you'll draw a CSRS pension of somewhere around 70% of the average of your high-three income years.  I'd have to look up GS-7 step 10, but I'd say that if you've been doing ok on your current salary, then you'd have no problem with living ok on your pension.  You have to remember, that even though 70% might not sound great, you won't be paying into CSRS anymore, or the small Social Security part that's being witheld from your check right now, you won't be contributing to TSP anymore (if you're doing that now) and if you're living in one of the many states that don't tax federal retirement, you won't be paying that anymore either.  You also might very well be in a lower tax bracket after retirment, and so that would help as well. 
 
Here's my situation:  I'm 52 1/2 yrs old.  I'm a GS-11, step 4.  If I retire on my 55th birthday, which I intend to do, I'll have just under 36 years, and will get around 68% of my high-three.  I've done the math and checked the annuity calculators.  My TAKE-HOME pay will be more than my current take home paycheck.  That's because I won't be paying state income tax, the FICA portion of SS, and I won't be contributing to TSP anymore.  I am currently contributing $846 per pay period into my TSP.  I know that's a lot, but it will enable me to buy a new house for cash when I retire, so I'll have no house payment.  I'll end up with more after-tax and expenses money than while I was working.  I won't be a step 10 when I retire, I'll only be a step 5, and I'll be there's not that much difference between a 7 step 10 and an 11 step 5.  Some, I know, but not a fortune. 
 
Obviously, if you continue working for more years, your retirement check will be bigger.  The question is whether it'll be bigger enough to justify working longer.  If you're really burnt out on work and are just ready to go, and you can live comfortably on your retirement, then to me it's not worth dragging yourself in to work everyday for several more years to a job you're sick of.  It's not going to be worth the small gains in your retirement check if you have to be stressed out or hating your job.  If you really like your job, then nobody's making you retire....you have the option to keep working as long as you want.  For me, I've known for 20 years that I wanted to retire the minute I was eligible, so I'm punching out on my 55th birthday.  It'll be my birthday gift to myself.  The next day, I'll be floating around in the lake, catching some fish! lol...  Just do what feels best to you.
 
p.s.  I just checked, and the difference in my pay & your pay is currently $13000 (based on Rest of US locality pay chart).  You are the only one who can know if you'll  be comfortable with your income if you retire at 55.  I think youd probably be fine based on the fact you've been supporting yourself on your current income & your retirement after-taxes income is going to be the same or more due to not having to pay some things that are now being deducted from your paycheck.  Best of luck to you.Wink
martyb2010-07-19 16:25:08
Forum trolls to 0%
iceman127  
#5 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 6:38:20 AM(UTC)
iceman127

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Martyb,
thank you so much for those good advice.  I may take that into consideration.  I am really burn out.  I was once a GS-9, step 10.  Do you know if this will be my high 3 instead of the grade I am now GS-7 step 10?
RetirednHappy  
#6 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:14:53 AM(UTC)
RetirednHappy

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Iceman127:   Your high 3 is any continuous 36 month block of time during your federal career. It is usually the last 36 months, just prior to retirement, but, as perhaps in your case, it could include an earlier period when you were GS-9, step 10. The key is 36 CONTINUOUS months of employment. (It cannot be a few months from one year, another few months from other years, piece-meal).
Beagle  
#7 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 8:37:27 AM(UTC)
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For 36 years you'll get 68.25% of the average of your high 3.





CSRS Annuity Formula

Years of Service What You Receive

First 5 years of service
1.5 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year

Second 5 years of service Plus
1.75 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year

For all years of service over 10 Plus
2 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year.
 
 
Beagle2010-08-01 17:36:23
TER  
#8 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 9:23:36 AM(UTC)
TER

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Better check that math again...it won't be quite 72%.
Beagle  
#9 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 9:29:15 AM(UTC)
Beagle

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TER wrote:
Better check that math again...it won't be quite 72%.
 
My bad I just used 2% for all years.  So the correct amount is 68.25%
 
I'm under FERS so just did a quick copy and paste
Beagle2010-08-01 17:36:51
iceman127  
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 12:34:06 PM(UTC)
iceman127

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Everyone thanks so much for your replies.  I was a GS-9, Step 10 for over 7 years.  I took a step down to a GS-7, step 10 and have been that grade for over 2 years.   I am not very good at math so where do I stand with the high 3 if I do retire at 55 which would be the same time this month next year?
Beagle  
#11 Posted : Sunday, August 01, 2010 2:34:56 PM(UTC)
Beagle

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You would need to find out what the pay was for GS-9 Step 10 when you were receiving that pay.  Take the total for those 3 years of your highest pay and divide by 3.

You would be receiving about 68.25% of that amount.

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