Aug 20, 2015

2016 Federal COLA Increase Appearing Unlikely

"...As we edge closer to October, when federal retirees and Social Security recipients learn how much their COLA will actually be in 2016, the answer to whether there will be a COLA increase in 2016 becomes a little more clear each month.

It now appears increasingly less likely that there will be a COLA increase for federal retirees in January 2016. 

The reason is because the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is about the same in July as it was in June. The CPI-W is the index used for measuring increases in the prices that are used to determine how much the COLA increase will be, if any, in January 2016. As determined by the relevant data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (CPI-W) in October 2014, federal retirees received a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to their civil service annuities beginning in January 2015. Social Security benefits and military retirement annuities increased by the same amount.

The CPI-W has actually declined 0.3 percent over the last 12 months. To calculate the 2016 COLA, if any, the average of the indices of July, August, and September 2015 will be compared with the 2014 third quarter average. The percentage increase, if any, determines the COLA some federal retirees will receive next January..."


Jul 23, 2015

Changes Coming to Federal Retirement Calculations?

"...Will the amount a federal employee must contribute to a future pension go up in the near future? Will the computation for calculating the amount of the pension contribution change from a “high three” to a “high five”?

No one knows with any certainty what will emerge from Congress on these issues. But, with the massive federal deficit that is still increasing by hundreds of billions per year, the bruising budget battles looming in Congress in the near future, and the wide divide between Republicans that generally want to reduce the deficit and decrease government spending and Democrats that generally want to increase spending and continue deficit spending, anything is possible..."


Mar 6, 2015

Getting Full Credit Towards Your Retirement

"...When planning for retirement, one crucial step is to make sure you’re getting service credit for all your working time that counts toward your calculation. This includes not just credit for federal employment that obviously is creditable but also for certain types of employment that you otherwise might rule out or forget about—such as part-time or temporary work years ago while a student.

Creditable service applies to more types of employment than you might think. For example, it covers work such as service with the Peace Corps and Vista, volunteer service under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, employment as a United States Capitol Guide, and work as a substitute letter carrier..."


Mar 5, 2015

Retiree Benefits When Living Abroad

"...There are a wide variety of benefits that may be paid to federal retirees and their survivors. However, there are specific laws that govern whether you can receive those benefits if you live outside the United States or its territories and possessions. These laws control your entitlement to CSRS and FERS annuities, Social Security and Medicare.

If you are a U.S. citizen, with one exception you can receive your CSRS or FERS benefits no matter where you live. Here’s the exception..."

Read more at FEDweek

Feb 11, 2015

Peace Corps Credit Towards Retirement

"...Employees who are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) are eligible to receive credit towards retirement for their Peace Corps Volunteer service.

To do so, you must make a deposit for this period of service. While you are a Peace Corps Volunteer, no money is deducted from your monthly readjustment allowance for retirement. Your deposit is an amount equal to the money that would have been deducted and put into the retirement fund, plus any accrued interest..."


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