Frequently Asked Questions

 

Many mistakes can be made when planning your retirement if you don’t stay informed and educated about the benefits that are made available to you. Some more common mistakes include basing your investment decisions on what just happened in the market (for your Thrift Savings Plan Investments), failure to educate yourself or work with a specialist who can help you, retiring on the spur of the moment, and the worst mistake: deciding to retire without discussing your plans with your spouse.

 

FERS has a component that is known as the Minimum Retirement age or MRA. FERS is structured as follows:
 
If you were born:
Your MRA is:
  Before 1948 55
  In 1948 55 and 2 Months
  In 1949 55 and 4 Months
  In 1950 55 and 6 Months
  In 1951 55 and 8 Months
  In 1952 55 and 10 Months
  1953-1964 56
  In 1965 56 and 2 Months
  In 1966 56 and 4 Months
  In 1967 56 and 6 Months
  In 1968 56 and 8 Months
  In 1969 56 and 10 Months
  1970 and After 57

 

Your High- 3 Average salary, which is the average highest salary you earned over 36 consecutive months and your length in service (creditable civilian service, temp time, re-deposit, creditable military time, and sick leave). Survivor benefits are no cost to you during employment; upon retirement though, survivor benefits will come at a cost. Your spouse must decide if he/she wants these retirement benefits. Your Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is group term life insurance. The Basic Insurance death benefit is your annual salary rounded up to the next 1000 plus an additional $2,000. There are optional benefits that will increase your coverage, but do cost more. The Basic Insurance coverage and cost go up as your salary increases. You are automatically enrolled in FEGLI and to opt out you must complete and file a waiver with the Office of Personnel Management. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan. It is used specifically to additionally fund and supplement your retirement income. TSP is voluntary and the contributions made are separate from your FERS Basic Annuity and your CSRS Basic Annuity. You can contribute up to $16,500 as of January 1st, 2010 for both the FERS and CSRS retirement systems. It depends. If you are over the age of 50, currently employed and in pay status, you can put in additional dollars, or what is commonly referred to as catch-up contributions. You can put in an additional $5,500 per year, giving you a maximum contribution of $22,000. The Loan Program has two types of loans: general purpose and a home loan. The minimum loan amount is $1,000 and the maximum is $50,000. A general purpose loan must be paid back within five years and a home loan must be paid back in 15 years. The current loan interest rate (as of March 1st, 2010) is 3.125%. There is a $50 loan processing fee and you must wait 60 days between loans. You may only have one home loan and one general purpose loan. There is no time like the present. Contact one of our trusted, nationwide advisors to receive your complimentary retirement benefit analysis.

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