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Look here for Fed retirement benefits. http://www.opm.gov/retire/html/library/fers.asp

In general, you get 1% of your average top 3 earning years x years of service once you reach Minimum Retirement Age in addition to the TSP (401k) with 5% matching. As a FIREe, I don't count the pension at all because I expect to pull the plug between the ages of 38-43 and my MRA is 57 (like I can put up with it for 34 years... a 34 year career isn't Retiring Early!).

As to breaking into a Fed job in the IT field, try getting hired by a gov't support contractor (working in Gov't spaces alongside gov't employees) and do a good job, impress the right people and they'll know how to work the system to get you a job. (write a job announcement to your specific qualifications, etc. -It doesn't always work out -someone else could be better qualified for "your" job but it increases your odds) Networking still helps. However, in my experience contractors tend to get paid more (albeit with possibly lower benefits?? and less job satisfaction should their employer lose the contract).

As to a city job, municipal jobs can be very iffy as far as job security goes. Revenues go down and employees are let go (often based off of seniority). I've looked at working for the city but would take a pay cut and lose a lot of security. No thanks!

Good Luck.

FoolNBlue
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