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www.tsp.gov

 

Records To Check Before Retirement

It is best to make certain all of your records are in place when anticipating retirement.  Tips to get in shape for retirement.

-Review your designation of beneficiary for the lump sum payment of retirement contributions when no one is eligible for monthly payments.

– If a copy is not in your folder, file a new designation. The designation is made on

Standard Form 2808 for CSRS and Standard Form 3102 for FERS.  Make sure

the form shows very clearly the person(s) you want designated.

FERS transfers and any prior designation made for CSRS is cancelled.  You may want

to file a FERS designation.  Automatic transfers to FERS from CSRS,- the designation

will remain in force.

If there is no designation of beneficiary, benefits will be paid as follows:

  1.  Your widow or widower.
  2.  Your children in equal shares.
  3.  Your parents in equal shares.
  4.  Your appointed executor or administrator of your estate.
  5.  Your next of kin under the laws of the state you reside in when you die.
  • What records are needed for my health benefits?

Inside of your OPF should be a record of all of your health benefit registration forms (Standard Form 2809) and where appropriate Standard Form 2810, Notice of Change in Health Benefits.  When you retire be absolutely certain that your official records show a complete history of your health insurance enrollment for the last five years.  Your records should include your current Federal life insurance coverage on a Standard Form 2817, “Life Insurance election”, and where appropriate, a current life insurance designation of beneficiary (Standard Form 2823).

P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.

TSP ARTICLES

For Postal Employees – LiteBlue and the TSP

Federal and Postal Employees – Choosing a Financial Professional

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Is All ‘Your’ TSP Money Actually Yours?

Federal Retirement Benefit Analysis

How To Best Fund Your TSP

Is Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Working For You?

 

Understanding The Thrift Savings Plan, By Todd Carmack

Understanding The Thrift Savings Plan, bTodd Carmack

TSP thrift savings planThe TSP is the Federal Government’s retirement account

If I asked 20 federal employees, “How much does the government match for TSP contributions?” I would get several different answers.  The correct answer is 5% if you’re a FERS employee.  Providing education is the most important part of my job and I enjoy the benefits that truly educating my clients can bring them.

One of the most important pieces of advice I can provide to employees is to make sure you are contributing a minimum of 5% to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  Free money is hard to come by and if you’re contributint to your TSP its about the same as giving yourself a raise just by doing the smart thing!  Example:  If your salary is $51,450 a year, your 5% contribution is $2572.50 a year and the government will match that figure, which means you will have a total $5145 in contributions to your account – not to mention any TSP fund performance.

Knowing your TSP investment options (TSP Funds) is also vital.  Here are the six options:

TSP G Fund – government securities

TSP F Fund – government, corporate and mortgage backed bonds

TSP C Fund – Large/mid cap U.S stocks

TSP S Fund – small cap U.S stocks

TSP I Fund – international

TSP L Fund – lifestyle funds (which is a combination of G,F,C,S, & I)

As for contribution limits, for those age 49 and under, you can contribute a maximum of $17,500 a year.  For those who are 50 and above, you can contribute an additional $5500 a year.

About the Author:

Todd Carmack,

Glendale, Arizona

Other Todd Carmack Articles

Social Security for FERS Employees, by Todd Carmack

Is The Pension Survivor Benefit Best For You?  by Todd Carmack

Understanding Your FEGLI Coverage.  by Todd Carmack

The Senate Salutes Federal Employees

Senate Salutes Federal Employees

Well, not the entire Senate, yet.  Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) recently introduced a bill called the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) which would give federal employees a 3.3 percent pay raise in 2015.  The proposed pay raise is welcomed news for Federal employees.   Federal employees have endured a lot over the past years.  They have gone without pay increases, endured pay freezes and furloughs and even lived through the sequester.

A report from Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis stated that the federal civilian workforce was the only entity that experienced a decrease rather than an increase in earnings in 2013.  Many unions are standing strong behind the FAIR Act clearly a move that leverages their membership.  Federal workers have not been exempt from the economic down-slide faced by the entire nation.  Federal workers have had to reevaluate spending and planning for their family’s future.  Federal employees were very shaken over the sequester.  Although, many knew they would be made whole, expenses and bills that are due now have no relationship with what will happen in the future.

The gap that has always separated public employees from private employees certainly widened as a result of the slow-down and the eventual shut-down of the Federal Government.  Salaries and benefits must be competitive in order to bring the highest caliber of talent to the Federal service.   It is good to know that Federal employees, often under-appreciated, have found two champions in Senators Cardin and Schatz.  The senators appreciate the hard work and dedication of public servants and want them to be rewarded for their hard work and long years of service.

The people of Maryland and Hawaii know that their Senators are not only fighting for Federal employees in their individual states, but Federal employees all over the United States.  Because the FAIR Act will benefit all Federal employees, I am certain the Senators will have no problem convincing their 48 colleagues that implementing the FAIR Act is the right thing to do.

P. S.  Always Remember to Share What You Know.

Recommended Articles

For Postal Employees – LiteBlue and the TSP

Federal Retirement Benefit Analysis

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Is The Pension Survivor Benefit Best For You?  by Todd Carmack

A Little-Known Opportunity Can Increase Your Retirement Income.  by Mark Sprague

FEGLI …. If What You Thought To Be True.  by Marty Duggan

 

Retirement Planning: Prepare Financially, Physically, Emotionally

Retirement PlanningFederal Retirement brings a major change in the life of not only the retiree, but also their family. It is a shift from a structured way of life to an unstructured one, which can be unnerving and overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared.

This article will help people prepare themselves financially, physically and emotionally for the next phase of life:

Being Prepared Financially

– Start Saving – Saving, whether for retirement or any other goal, is a rewarding habit. If you are already doing it, great; if not, you should get started. Start saving from a small amount, and gradually develop a habit of keeping aside a specific amount of money every month.  Retirement savings programs like the Thrifts Savings Plan can help you plan for the future.

o   Federal Employees receive a match to every dollar they invest into their TSP Account – up to the first 5% of their income.  It’s like giving yourself a raise by simply putting the money in the account.

– Know Your Retirement Needs – if you wish to maintain the same standard of living after retirement that you currently have you should absolutely perform a Retirement Cost Analysis and a Retirement Benefit Analysis.  There are rules of thumb when it comes to retirement planning but as a federal employee your benefits can be very complex.  It is always best to operate with as much knowledge as possible.  PSRetirement.com offers readers a free retirement Benefit Analysis.

–  Know What You Are Eligible For Through Your Employer’s Pension Plan – Through your High-3 calculations and depending on whether you are covered by FERS or CSRS your Federal Annuity can be significantly different than your friends or colleagues.  Don’t rely upon their figures to determine what you think you might be eligible for.  Work with your HR Department and you may even want to talk with a knowledgeable financial planner who can help you determine how your Annuity should impact what other investments you may need to make before retirement to give you the income you need.

–  Know Where Your Money Is Invested – The type of investments you make play a significant role in how much you will have saved at retirement. Keep a track of where your savings and TSP money is being invested. Diversifying investments can minimize risk and depending on your age certain investments may be more appropriate than others.

–  Learn About Social Security Benefits – If you are a CSRS employee you may not be eligible to receive Social Security.  For FERS employees there are also impacts to your Social Security payments depending on when you claim it and how much you earn in the way of your Federal Annuity.  Because of the complexity of the different systems and how they impact one another – it is incredibly important to talk with an expert about what your benefits will be.

 Being Prepared Physically

–  Stop Smoking – Smoking causes life-degrading and life-shortening diseases.

–  Control Blood Pressure – after quitting smoking, the next most important thing that Americans should do is to control their blood pressure by eating healthy and having an active lifestyle.

–  Eat Healthy – The expression ‘you are what you eat’ proves to be right when people start having health problems after retirement because of their preceding unhealthy lifestyle. They should eat healthy both before and after retirement to avoid common health issues like blood pressure, hypertension, ulcers and others.

–  Stay Active – Many people have an active workout regime while they are employed, but once they retire, they give it up. Having an active lifestyle after retirement is equally important to stay fit.

–  Control Blood Pressure – High cholesterol means blocked blood vessels. The best way to lower cholesterol is to keep a check on your weight and exercise regularly.

–  Get a Regular Checkup – Even if you feel fit, getting an annual medical checkup is important as some health problems like diabetes, cholesterol and others might not have any obvious symptoms until   they get worse.

Being Prepared Emotionally

–  Set Lifestyle Goals – Make a list of things that you would like to do or places you would want to visit after retirement, for which you were too busy while employed. You can also plan your financial savings accordingly. Occupying yourself with interesting activities will offset feelings of uselessness after retirement.

–  Build a Network – It is important to have a good support system and social circle after retirement to mingle with people who are going through the same transition as you are.

–  Consider Your Spouse’s Feelings – Retirement is as much of a life-changing event for you as it is for your spouse, especially if they are still employed. Discuss their expectations, your feelings and sharing of responsibilities to make the transition easy for both of you.

Whether you are nearing the end of your service or are thinking to plan ahead, PSRetirement is your complete source of for all retirement-related solutions!