If You’re A Lifer, Here’s How to Combine FERS With Your TSP

Working for and retiring from the government used to be a piece of cake. Sort of.

You landed a job and stayed there for 20, 30, or 40 years. After that, you retired under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

Your annuity was a lifetime payment. The same goes for your spouse. The monthly annuity was largely inflation-protected. And based on salary and length of service. Easy. If you were a lifetime member. However, most aren’t! Fewer than half of those who enter the government ever retire. Perhaps even less!

The problem with the original CSRS program, Congress decided, was that it was too expensive for the taxpayers. And it was created for lifers, e Even though most people who work for the government don’t remain long enough to qualify for an annuity. Their government job also did not count toward Social Security.

So, Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). However, it has a more generous TSP option, with a 5% match. Its TSP and Social Security components make it portable for most people who work in and out of government. It also covers members of Congress, which is better than most private-sector policies. However,  FERS is a hands-on operation. Your hands!

CSRS was a self-piloting vehicle. Perhaps the country’s best nonexecutive retirement plan. However, it’s gone, and you’re still here. Most likely under FERS. Period!

Those wishing to maximize their total retirement benefits should consider FERS and put in some effort. According to some projections, the TSP will give retirees anywhere from one-third to half of their pre-tax income.

So, we contacted a full-time fed and part-time financial counselor who has done exceptionally well with his TSP. “In terms of your FERS and TSP, knowledge is power,” he says. He came up with the following simple advice sheet. This one could be a keeper:

Agencies provide federal employees with documents to help them understand human resource policies, travel regulations, ethical policies, and federal rules. They must also be aware of workplace concerns and cyber security threats. On the other hand, federal employees must independently seek out information on their FERS retirement and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

So, where can federal employees get the basics to understand their FERS retirement and increase their TSP? You don’t need to spend much time on these issues to feel comfortable. It’s never too early in your government job to familiarize yourself with the large quantity of material available on the OPM and TSP websites. It’s a good idea to brush up on the basics, so you don’t feel overwhelmed while making TSP financial decisions or approaching crucial FERS retirement milestones. The following are the top five resources for researching FERS and TSP concerns. Some are entirely free, while others need the purchase of a book or membership:

1. TSP newsletter: TSP updates and performance. Free. (tsp.gov)

2. TSP webinars: TSP educational topics. Free (tsp.gov)

3. FERS and TSP items on the Federal News Network. Free. (federalnewsnetwork.com)

4. FERS Retirement Planning Guide (Fed Week). $13.95 (fedweek.com) (fedweek.com)

5. IRS and Medicare updates and regulatory changes in the AARP newsletter. For people aged 50 and above. Membership fee. (www.aarp.org)

People have many concerns about their FERS retirement and TSP account. Each person has unique requirements and circumstances. A single person, for example, will have different needs than a married couple with children. To achieve a successful FERS retirement and TSP, you must consider all external variables when developing a strategy. Many of these selections can empower you and add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your retirement on the long road to retirement.

Contact Information:
Email: rick@andrikfinancial.com
Phone: 9568933225

Bio:
Rick Viader is a Federal Retirement Consultant that uses proven strategies to help federal employees achieve their financial goals and make sure they receive all the benefits they worked so hard to achieve.

In helping federal employees, Rick has seen the need to offer retirement plan coaching where Human Resources departments either could not or were not able to assist. For almost 14 years, Rick has specialized in using federal government benefits and retirement systems to maximize retirement incomes.

His goals are to guide federal employees to achieve their financial goals while maximizing their retirement incomes.

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