There are Critical Ages that Federal Employees should be aware of. These ages represent opportunities for Federal Employees who might want to maximize their retirement benefits.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 50
• Begin age-based catch-up to defined contribution plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA). Beginning with the year you reach age 50, Federal law allows you to defer a certain dollar amount per year to a qualified defined retirement plan. The catch-up amount is $5,000, indexed in $500 increments. The age-based catch-up amount for IRA contributions is $1,000.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 55
• After separation from service, you may begin withdrawing from your TSP or another qualified plan without paying a 10 percent penalty tax.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 59.5
• You may begin withdrawing from qualified retirement plans, if retired, or from an IRA without incurring the 10 percent penalty. At 59.5 Federal employees can also take an in-service distribution – rolling their TSP account balance into an IRA with a private company and giving themselves more investment options.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 62
• You can begin receiving your Social Security benefits; however, the amount may be reduced by as much as 30 percent, depending on the date of your birth.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 63.5
• The Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) law makes health insurance in most employers’ group health plans available for at least 18 months after separation; however, you bear the full cost, including the portion previously paid by your employer (plus a small administrative fee). Upon age 65 and your enrollment in Medicare Part B, Federal law requires access to Medigap health insurance at standard rates. Combining COBRA and Medigap effectively ensures access to health insurance beginning at age 63.5
Federal Employee ~~ Age 65 – 67
• Depending on your date of birth, you may begin unreduced Social Security benefits at some point during this age range. Further, you may earn any amount without reducing this benefit.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 65
• You may enroll in Medicare, if eligible, and purchase Medigap insurance at standard rates. Your Medigap open enrollment period lasts for six months starting on the first day of the month in which you are 1) at least age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, an insurance company cannot deny you a Medigap policy, make you wait for coverage, or charge you more for a Medigap policy because of your health.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 70
• You may begin maximum Social Security benefits, if the starting date was delayed to this age. There is no advantage to delaying benefits past this age.
Federal Employee ~~ Age 70.5
• Required minimum distributions from qualified plans, IRAs, and deferred compensation plans begin the year after you turn 70.5.
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