Feb 8, 2017

Postal Reform Legislation Introduced

"...Legislation has been introduced in the House to make a number of reforms to the Postal Service.

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 756) would make pension funding reforms, allow for postal rate increases and even allow the Postal Service to provide non-postal services in some cases.

With regards to reforming the Postal Service’s pension program, the bill would do the following:

  • Calculates the Postal Service’s pension costs and liabilities using the salary growth and demographic assumptions that are specific to the Postal Service population instead of the government-wide population, as in current law.

  • Any surplus within the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees Retirement System accounts must be amortized over 30 years and returned to the Postal Service...."

The bill also addresses health benefits of current and retired Postal workers:

Read more at fedsmith.com

Oct 18, 2016

Small 0.3% Federal COLA Increase for 2017

"...The cost of living adjustment (COLA) for many federal retirees and Social Security recipients did not go up in 2016.

The news for 2017 is a little better but, overall, federal retirees will still see their overall income go down. The COLA increase for 2017 will be 0.3%.

This will be the smallest increase on record with the exception of the several years without any COLA increase.

With an average increase of 6.2% in premiums for health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Insurance Program (FEHB), the 0.3% COLA will not provide an increase in income for many retirees..."

Read more at fedsmith.com

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..."

Read more at FedSmith.com

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..."

Read more at fedweek.com

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

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