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Web Sites Estimate Retirement Annuities

By Lisa E. Stafford
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 1998 – Today, with all the hoopla about downsizing and buyouts, a lot of federal workers may be confused about the size of their retirement pensions.

There are currently two federal government World Wide Web sites available. One is the Department of Defenses Human Resource Center at http://www.hrsc.osd.mil/benfits.htm. This site is for Civil Service Retirement System employees only. The site uses DOS-generated software but will easily convert to Windows.

This site helps estimate your benefits. To get started you will need to provide the average of your highest three years' salary, Social Security number, date of birth, service computation date, current salary, biweekly health benefits, type of retirement -- such as optional, early or disability and military status.

The program will ask for your current annual and sick leave balances and will make estimates of your leave balances at the time of retirement.

Another web site is a new General Services Administration site at www.finance.gsa.gov/csrs2.htm. It can help Civil Service Retirement System employees project their retirement annuities on the spot.

The site features a downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows offline calculations for the CSRS, Federal Employees Retirement System, combined FERS and CSRS and law enforcement officers.

You need to know the average of your highest three years' salary, the number of service years and the amount of sick leave you will probably have when you retire. In seconds, you'll know your estimated annuity at retirement -- or how many more years you have to work to earn the annuity you want.

The web site calculators are easy to use and quick. Your actual annuity will depend upon several factors, such as step, merit increases, cost-of-living increases and elections for survivor and life insurance benefits. Consult your personnel office for these exact figures.

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