FEDweek.com Newsletters:

Retirement & Financial Planning
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Twitter Share to Twitter More...

Federal Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Get Print Version
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Twitter Share to Twitter More...
What Drives Social Security Claiming Decisions Several work-related factors influence when people claim Social Security benefits, according to a GAO report that said a major motivation seems to be an individual's assessment of his or her ability to continue working at older ages. Continue ›
Make Sure Benefits Follow You Retirees who move must take steps to prevent lapses in their insurance benefits. Continue ›
Coordinate Your Advisers You may have an attorney and an accountant and possibly a financial planner. Continue ›
CBO Outlines Options for Shoring Up Social Security The Congressional Budget Office has said there are numerous options, some more fiscally painful than others, for shoring up the Social Security system's finances, which under current law setting income and outgo will be enough to pay only about three-fourths of the currently promised benefit levels after their accumulated surpluses are exhausted. Continue ›
Designating Beneficiaries by Choice, or by Default Beneficiary designations are an important element of federal benefits programs. Continue ›
Creatively Tapping Your Home Equity More than One Way to Get Money from Home Among married couples, non-financial assets (mostly home equity) represent about 70 percent of total assets, according to a new report from the Society of Actuaries. Continue ›
Boomerang Effect Continues for Young Adults The trend of recent years toward young adults living with their parents continues, with implications for their parents who are in the run-up to retirement or are already there, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Continue ›
Special Rules for TSP Investors at Age 59 1/2 Age 59 1/2 is significant in tax-advantaged savings plans such as the Thrift Savings Plan because under the tax code, that generally is the earliest that withdrawals can be made from such plans without incurring the 10 percent "early withdrawal" penalty. Continue ›
Finding Savings in Long-Term Care Policies Long-term care (LTC) policies, available from many insurance companies, offer a wide variety of features. Continue ›
Connection Made Between Education, Continued Work

A recent study says that increased educational levels help explain the trend of persons staying in the workforce longer, although noting that other more commonly cited factors play a part as well.

The report did not focus specifically on the federal government, but federal employees overall are more educated than the general workforce and increasing numbers have extended their careers in recent years beyond their retirement eligibility points.

The Center for Retirement Research, focusing on employment of men, noted that since hitting a low point in 1993, the percentage of men in the workforce at ages 60-74 has risen steadily from 33 to 44 percent. Continue ›

Last »

Free Downloads

Report: Fourteen Retirement Planning Mistakes (updated)

Subscribe to: Retirement and Financial Planning Report

When you are thinking about retiring, planning might not be everything, but it’s head and shoulders above whatever’s in second place. This is a mistake too many federal employees make: going it on their own. Or relying on water cooler conversations or other conventional wisdom. Even on the odd chance that what you’d hear there is actually correct, the lunchroom lawyer doesn’t know everything you need to understand.

You need authoritative help because federal retirement is more complicated than it looks. So get with it. A pre‐retirement counseling seminar, in person or online, is the best way to go. Most agencies, if they don’t offer them to their retirement-eligible employees already, are willing to pay the enrollment fee for ones offered by private companies - and often let employees have time off to do it. Even if your agency doesn’t provide or pay for pre-retirement counseling seminars, it’s worth it to pay out of your own pocket (for example, you might being sucker‐punched by a little‐known rule that leaves you without health insurance). Seminars are that important. Be prepared with questions – and be ready to be surprised by all the questions and answers that had never occurred to you.

Enter your email to subscribe and read the full report:

Report: Understanding the Value of Your Benefits

Subscribe to: FEDweek

About a fourth of federal workers already are eligible to retire but are continuing to work anyway. There are a variety of reasons, including a need to rebuild finances damaged in the economic downturn and a weak job market dissuading them from following the common route of working elsewhere after retiring from the government. Within a few years, as many as 40 percent of employees will be retirement-eligible.

That has led to widespread concerns about a brain drain: a loss of expertise and continuity so important in government programs. Although they might not retire as soon as they are eligible, eventually, those employees will leave.

Many of them have been torn between staying and going. Commonly, older employees like their work, know its importance, and want to be sure it is carried on properly after they retire. They also like or need the income from working. But many would like to cut back, giving themselves more free time and lessening the everyday hassles of working full time.

However, the second issue is that the government traditionally has left only a one or the other choice: work or retire. It had no arrangement in which employees could ease into retirement by reducing their working schedules. In fact, there was a policy that actually discouraged older employees from changing to part-time work by causing a reduction in their eventual annuity. A 2009 law repealed that provision, a first step toward phased retirement.

Unlike many government personnel policies that apply to either active employees or to retirees but not to both, phased retirement is a mix of the two. Except for being able to draw a partial annuity, a phased retiree is treated like an active employee—and more specifically, as a part-time employee, although certain exceptions apply as described below.

Phased retirement has been a long time coming. Congress and OPM put real effort into deciding whether it should be available, and on what terms. Deciding whether to ask for it requires similar careful consideration (and bear in mind that granting a request is up to an agency’s discretion).

This publication is designed to illuminate the path through those issues. It includes an overview of the phased retirement policy, including eligibility rules, the special policies for calculating an annuity, and what happens during and after phased retirement. Also included is a comparison with the other career options available to someone who reaches retirement eligibility.

Enter your email to subscribe and read the full report: