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Your Choices

To help you understand the choices you have and how they will affect the initial monthly benefit, we have compiled them into the following list:

1. Amount Transferred: The more you transfer, the larger the initial benefit.

2. Payment Option.  You have the following choices:

Maximum Option: This will produce the largest initial benefit, but will not provide any monthly payments to a survivor.

Option 2: You receive lower monthly payments for life.  After you die, your named survivor receives the same payments monthly for life.

Option 3: You receive lower monthly payments for life.  After you die, one-half of your payment continues to your named survivor for life.

Option 6-2: Same as Option 2, except if your named survivor dies before you do, your monthly payments are increased to the amount payable under the Maximum Option.  This additional feature will cause the initial benefit to be lower than under Option 2.

Option 6-3: Same as Option 3, except if your named survivor dies before you do, your monthly payments are increased to the amount payable under the Maximum Option.  This additional feature will cause the initial benefit to be lower than under Option 3. 

3. Guaranteed Refund.  You have the following choices, with the 3 Year Guarantee almost always resulting in a higher initial benefit:

Three-Year Guarantee: Total payments are guaranteed to equal at least 36 times the initial monthly payment.  If both you and any survivor named to receive monthly payments die before the total payments equal the guaranteed amount, the unrecovered portion will be paid in one lump sum to your guaranteed refund beneficiary(ies) .

Refund of Transfer Amount: Total monthly payments are guaranteed to equal the amount transferred minus the administrative fee.  If both you and any survivor named to receive monthly payments die before the total payments equal the amount transferred, the unrecovered portion will be paid in one lump sum to your guaranteed refund beneficiary(ies) . 

4. Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).  You have the following choices:

No COLA: The amount of the monthly benefit will remain the same throughout your lifetime.

COLA: Equal to Increase in CPI-U.  Each year the amount of your benefit will increase in proportion to the increase in CPI-U, a common measure of inflation.  The initial benefit will be smaller than it would be for the No COLA option, but the payments are likely to increase over time. If the CPI-U does not increase in a year, there will also be no benefit increase for that year.

 

You can combine any of the four options.  For example:

Option 1:  You could choose Option 2, Three-Year Guarantee, and No COLA

Option 2:  You could choose Maximum Option, Refund of Transfer, and COLA equal to CPI-U

Ignoring variations in the amount transferred, there are 20 possible combinations of the options. 

To see how each of these combinations would affect your initial benefit, you can model them in the estimator found in your personal ORBIT account.

Note: these options apply only to the transfer benefit available to all members.  They do not apply to the special transfer benefit that is available only to Law Enforcement Officers.  For LEO options, please visit the LEOs Special Options web page.​