Sep 24, 2016

Federal Retirees Have Difficult Choice with Rising Premiums

"...Federal employees and retirees are facing a cascade of tough decisions over the next month as they think about funding their benefit contributions.

Even if employees receive the President’s proposed increase of 1.0 percent across-the-board and 0.6 percent locality pay, benefit costs are increasing faster.

For retirees, the picture is worse as the current 2017 COLA appears to be coming in at the 0.2 to 0.3 percent range depending on the CPI index number to be announced October 18.

If you are lucky, that might translate to an extra $6 to $15 per month, depending on your present annuity..."


Sep 21, 2016

Retirees Prepare for Minimal COLA

"...With one month left to go in the cost of living adjustment countdown, federal, military and Social Security retirees are braced for what could be an almost invisible COLA.

Something like $10.59 per month for the average retiree under the old Civil Service Retirement System and $4.07 for the average retiree under the FERS retirement program.

The amount of the January inflation catch-up won’t be determined until price data for this month (September) is compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The final COLA figure will be released Oct. 18..."


Sep 10, 2016

Explanation of Spousal Rights to TSP

"...Like all 401(k) type plans, the TSP provides spousal rights for spouses of employees and retirees. Interestingly, the rights granted to the spouse are different depending on whether the employee/retiree is covered under CSRS or FERS.

Under FERS, unless the spouse waives his or her right, they are entitled to receive a specific type of TSP annuity (i.e., joint-life with a 50% survivor benefit and no additional features). There are many different options offered in the current TSP annuity (which is offered by MetLife) and, in my opinion, this spousal default choice is one of the least appealing..."

Read more at FEDweek

Aug 30, 2016

Federal Retirement August Update

"...If you are just back — whether from an exotic vacation or an economical stay at home — welcome. You haven’t missed much. It won’t take long to bring you up to speed. So here it goes:

- With two months to go in the cost-of-living adjustment countdown, federal-military-Social Security retirees are looking at a very, very small COLA in January. The exact amount won’t be announced until mid-October. As of today, it stands at 0.23 percent.

- No new word on buyouts or early retirement offers.

- After four years in the works, the phased retirement program is up and running, in some places..."


Aug 26, 2016

2017 COLA and Medicare Part B

"...The chances of a tepid cost-of-living-adjustment for 2017 could soon have federal retirees cautiously watching how health insurance premiums will rise this fall.

But the kicker is for some retirees, no COLA will be a lot better than a small COLA.

The COLA determines how much select retirees—including many former federal employees—will be able to offset the rise in their Medicare premiums, and there’s a chance it will be very low this year..."


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