The Foreign Service Journal - June 2014 - page 46

JUNE 2014
FSPS Annuity Supplement: A Reminder
The Foreign Service Pension
System annuity supplement
can be confusing. It is a bene-
fit payable to certain employ-
ees who retire before age 62,
are in the “new” FSPS retire-
ment system and are entitled
to an immediate annuity. The
purpose of the supplement is
to provide a level of income
before age 62 similar to that
an annuitant would receive
at age 62 as part of Social
Security benefits.
The annuity supplement
is payable from the date of
retirement until the month
prior to the one in which the
annuitant reaches age 62. It
is calculated as if the annui-
tant is 62 and fully eligible
to receive SSA benefits on
the day of actual retirement.
The payment is subject to an
annual earnings test similar
to the one applied to Social
Security benefits.
An employee with at least
one year of FSPS service and
who retires (voluntarily or
involuntarily) is eligible for an
immediate annuity. Employ-
ees who retire at their mini-
mum retirement age (see
table) with at least 10 years
of service or employees who
retire on disability or deferred
retirement are not eligible for
the annuity supplemental.
To calculate a retiree’s
As most members recall,
AFSA unveiled new guide-
lines for ambassadorial
qualifications in February.
Our goal was to craft a set of
chief-of-mission guidelines
that were broad, general
and positive—yet specific
enough to hit the main areas
of expertise needed by
both career and non-career
nominees to be able to lead
an embassy or mission
A working group of 10
former ambassadors drafted
the guidelines and AFSA’s
Governing Board adopted
them in January.
As part of this project,
AFSA filed FOIA requests
for nominees’ “cer-
tificates of demonstrated
competence”—a document
required under the Foreign
Service Act of 1980. The
State Department’s positive
response to that request
offered a window into this
We concluded that more
transparency would benefit
everyone involved. Publica-
tion of the certificate of
demonstrated competence
prior to a nominee’s hear-
ing, together with an effort
Agreement on Ambassador Certificates
AFSA’s goal was to craft a set of chief-
of-mission guidelines that were broad,
general and positive, yet specific enough
to hit the main areas of expertise.
to write the certificate to
address specific qualifica-
tions, would open up the
process to the public and
address the issue of qualifi-
cations for all nominees.
AFSA proposed to the
administration that going
forward—as part of the
Transparency in Government
initiative and a forward-
looking legacy—the State
Department will publish
more detailed certificates
online in real time. These
revised documents will draw
on the AFSA guidelines to
illustrate nominees’ experi-
ence in the four key areas:
leadership, character and
proven interpersonal skills;
understanding of high-level
policy and operations; man-
agement; and understanding
of host country or relevant
international experience.
Certificates for sub-
sequent ambassadorial
nominees have, in fact, been
posted online before each
individual’s Senate Foreign
Relations Committee hear-
ing. You may find the certifi-
cates on the department’s
–Ásgeir Sigfússon,
Director of New Media
$20,000 divided by 40, times
20: $10,000.
The FSPS annuity supple-
ment is subject to an earn-
ings test that begins after a
retiree reaches the minimum
annuity, the department
estimates what his or her
full Social Security benefits
would be. Then it calculates
the amount of
service under
the FSPS, and
reduces the esti-
mated full Social
Security benefits
accordingly. For
example, if an
estimated Social
Security ben-
efit at age 62 is
$20,000 and the
number of years
under the FSPS
is 20 years, the
formula would be
What Is Your Minimum
Retirement Age?
If you were born… Your MRA is…
Before 1948 55 years
55 years and 2 months
55 years and 4 months
1950 55 years and 6 months
55 years and 8 months
55 years and 10 months
1953-1964 56 years
56 years and 2 months
56 years and 4 months
56 years and 6 months
56 years and 8 months
56 years and 10 months
1970 or later 57 years
1...,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45 47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,...96
Powered by FlippingBook