The Federal Ballpark E$timate (FBE) offered by the Office of Personnel Management can be used as a guideline for a federal employee’s future retirement needs. It is a retirement savings planning tool — and is not to be used to get an estimate on an employee’s federal pension. The FBE includes projected federal CSRS and FERS annuity and Thrift Savings Plan benefits to help federal employees quickly identify approximately how much they need to save to fund a comfortable retirement.
The FBE can be used by employees who plan to retire under the voluntary age and service rules covered by the following programs:
- Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
- Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS retirement)
The current version of FBE does not perform estimates for employees planning to retire under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) + 10 rules, or those who are covered by special computation rules such as law enforcement officers and firefighters, or former federal employees who may be entitled to a deferred retirement.
OPM suggests that federal employees within 3 years of their retirement date should contact their human resource (HR) office for an annuity estimate. Contacting the HR office well in advance of the planned retirement date is important for several reasons, including:
- ensuring that all federal service is accounted for and creditable towards retirement
- ensuring the employee is in the correct retirement system; i.e., CSRS, CSRS Offset, or FERS.
There are other things to consider when getting close to retirement for which the employee’s HR office is the place to discuss all of the options. Employees may also contact the lead benefits officer at their employing agency from this directory.
The Federal Ballpark E$timate was developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and its American Savings Education Council (ASEC) program . It is based upon the interactive version of the Ballpark E$timate worksheet developed by EBRI and ASEC.