Retirement Planning Retirement PlanningRetirement Planning
Advice on how to prepare for life after government.

Who’s Getting What?


I still remember going to school and wondering how many of my classmates got an A on a test and how many got a B (like me – at least most of the time). Then, when I had children, I wondered how many other children were walking when mine were crawling and how many were saying as many words as mine were? It might not be healthy to compare ourselves (or our children) with others, but sometimes it’s hard not to.

I find the same is true in the federal workforce. People want to know how many of their colleagues have $1 million or more in their TSP accounts? (It’s less than 300). Or how many retirees get benefits packages approaching six figures? (More than 50,000 retirees receive a monthly annuity of more than $7,000, but that’s only 2.7 percent of the total number of retirees).

For those of you who crave more statistics like these, here are some numbers -- courtesy of the Office of Personnel Management -- that you might find interesting about federal retirees and their benefits.

But first, some background on the current workforce: At the beginning of fiscal 2011, more than 2.8 million employees were covered under either the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System, an increase of 75,000 from the beginning of the previous year. Of the total, 89 percent of employees were under FERS, leaving only 11 percent of the workforce under CSRS.

Now for the data on retirees:

Employee Annuitants Added to the Retirement Rolls, FY 2011
Total Average Monthly Annuity Average Retirement Contributions Average Years of Service (Civilian and Military Combined) Age at annuity commencement date
FERS 37,839 $1,383 $9,753 20.4 60.8
CSRS 44,998 $4,270 $91,272 34.5 60.2

Employee Annuitants on the Retirement Rolls
Total Average Monthly Annuity Average Years of Service (Civilian and Military Combined) Average Age Percentage with FEHBP Coverage
FERS 391,455 $1,097 17.5 66.3 58.8
CSRS 1,502,293 $3,002 29.8 73.0 78.3

Monthly Annuity Amount
Number Percent of Total Percent Men
Under $1,000 33,362 17.7 51.5
Under $2,000 799,343 42.2 52.8
Under $3,000 1,278,050 67.5 58.6
Under $4,000 1,539,858 81.3 61.0
Under $5,000 1,695,947 89.6 62.3
Under $6,000 1,789,137 94.5 63.1
Under $7,000 1,843,383 97.3 63.7
$7,000 and over 50,365 2.7 83.4

CSRS/FERS Annuitants, Age by Selected Demographics
Employee Annuitants On Rolls (Non-Disability) Monthly Employee Annuity Average Survivor Annuitants on Rolls (Adults)
30-34 5 $1,363 99
35-39 9 $1,249 337
40-44 45 $1,273 1,124
45-49 1,105 $2,226 3,525
50-54 16,134 $2,942 9,048
55-59 118,755 $3,416 18,943
60-64 327,295 $3,105 33,710
65-69 332,232 $2,812 44,843
70-74 275,383 $2,661 62,788
75-79 236,229 $2,527 88,187
80-84 185,547 $2,401 114,718
85-89 131,089 $2,374 114,240
90-94 55,823 $2,378 58,049
95-99 11,604 $2,348 14,444
100 and over 1,295 $2,200 1,999

(Photo by Flickr user Tax Credits)


Tammy Flanagan has spent 30 years helping federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits. She runs her own consulting business at and provides individual counseling as well as online training for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Plan Your Federal Retirement as well as the Federal Long Term Care insurance Program. She also serves as the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc., which conducts federal retirement planning workshops and seminars.

For more retirement planning help, tune in to "For Your Benefit," presented by the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc. live on Federal News Radio on Mondays at 10 a.m. ET on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington-metro area. Archived shows are available on

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