Federal Employee Retirement FAQs
These are the most asked questions from the Tele-Seminars.
Yes, the SRS or FERS supplement (sometime referred as a social security supplement), is available to all FERS employees that are under the age 62 and have time enough to retire at MRA (MRA w/ 30 year, or age 60 w/ 20 years).
This is a personal choice issue. As to the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004 are made available to Federal employees, retirees, and their dependents. Generally, plans under the FEHB Program help pay for the same kind of expenses as Medicare. FEHB plans also provide coverage for emergency care outside of the United States which Medicare doesn’t provide. Some FEHB plans also provide coverage for dental and vision care. Medicare covers some orthopedic and prosthetic devices, durable medical equipment, home health care, limited chiropractic services, and some medical supplies, which some FEHB plans may not cover or only partially cover (check your plan brochure for details). If you are entitled to Part A without paying the premiums, you should take it, even if you are still working. This may help cover some of the costs that your FEHB plan may not cover, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and charges that exceed the plan’s allowable charges. There are other advantages to Part A, such as (if you also enroll in Part B,) being eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
You are not required to move your TSP. Having said that, you may find it to your advantage to open your own personal IRA account, and transfer funds accordingly.
Yes, you can move your TSP funds to an IRA account at age 59 1/2 or at retirement. Caution: the new account must be compatible and qualified. The funds must be a custodial transfer, otherwise, the transfer will cause a taxable event.
In most cases, if you are FERS, the last day of the month will serve you well, because your benefits would begin the first day of the following month. CSRS can retire in the first three days and not miss compensation. For more details, read our blog post on this subject.
Yes, under certain conditions:
- You may make contributions to your TSP in the maximum amount which, 2019, is $19,000.00, but check, this amount changes periodically.
- If over the age of 50, you may contribute a ‘Catch Up’ amount of $6000.00 (2019). This amount also changes periodically.
- You may transfer any former IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or a deceased spouse IRA account, wherein you were beneficiary.
If you served in the military of the United States, as active duty, you may use this period of U.S. military service toward your civilian federal employment. This time will be calculated, you may pay the amount in a lump sum or over time which can add your years to your CSRS or FERS employment, and you can retire earlier than originally planned.
An excellent question: Each employee, family and living cost and dreams are different. First, you would visit with a planner, you could work backwards and advise you how much to save, place into TSP and looks at all elements of your retirement, to look for savings cost or greater earnings, as well as best beneficiary options.
Your planner will help. In your case, you would be eligible for full retirement in two years, or age 62. The amount of your retirement annuity and other options can be determined by your planner and the “14-page report”.
There are several parts to this question, therefore several parts to the answer.
- Health Care: A child age 26 or over who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26 is also an eligible family member. In determining whether the child is a covered family member, your employing office will look at the child’s relationship to you as the enrollee.
- Life Insurance: Many times it may be possible to build an estate or trust based on life insurance benefits, rather than relying on the government benefits, especially if the special need’s child may not qualify.
- FERS / CSRS: Survivor Benefit: A special need child can receive survivor benefits, if the child with disability, was disabled before age 18.
- Social Security: If you child is younger than age 18 and has disabilities that might make them eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Also for adults who became disabled in childhood (prior to age 22), and who might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This is called SSDI benefit a “child’s” benefit because it’s paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. You may wish to contact your local Social Security Office for more information.
Overtime does not count. The HIGH 3 (three-years) are usually your final three years of service, but can be an earlier period, if your basic pay was higher during that period. Your basic pay is the basic salary you earn for your position. It includes increases to your salary for which retirement deductions are withheld, such as shift rates. It does not include payments for overtime, bonuses, etc.
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