Navigating the Federal Employee Retirement System

As a Federal employee, you are finally ready to start planning for retirement. But where do you even start? As experts in the Federal employee benefits industry with over 33 years of experience, it is our commitment to help Federal employees navigate the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).

Top items Federal employees should  consider when planning for retirement:

  • What happens to pension payments if you pass away
  • Your Surviving Spousal Benefit (SSB) is connected to your health insurance (FEHB). If you pass away before your spouse, and they need to be on your FEHB plan then you need to choose an SSB option at retirement. If you don’t, then your spouse will lose their health insurance should you pass away
  • Are you planning to utilize your TSP funds to provide income throughout retirement
  • Do you plan to leave a legacy? How much are you willing to spend on your life insurance (FEGLI)? Do you want to reduce your FEGLI benefit at retirement

As a Federal employee, you should begin the process as early as possible. While the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) claims they will process within 60 days, you should be prepared to wait between 3-6 months.

At least 1 year before your anticipate retirement date, you should ensure you are eligible for retirement, review effective dates for any pay adjustments, review your life insurance and health insurance plans to ensure their accuracy and to determine if you will be eligible to continue those benefits into retirement. You should also consider survivor benefit options.

At least 6 month prior to retirement, you should set your retirement date, contact personnel for retirement application forms, and request an annuity estimate.

A few common questions to keep in mind when it comes to the Federal Employee Retirement System:

  • Do you need an SSB plan? Will your spouse need access to part of your pension if you pass away
  • When should you take your Social Security
  • Are you going to leave the TSP in your TSP account or roll it into an IRA? Do you need income from the TSP and other retirement accounts
  • How is your FEHB going to work with Medicare

While navigating the Federal Employee Retirement System may seem daunting, you are not alone. It is our commitment at My Federal Benefits to provide you with a free personalized benefit analysis and help you understand the decisions you’ll encounter during your employment and retirement from the federal government. It is important to us that you are prepared to make decisions based on your unique circumstances, know how to avoid pitfalls and make the best choices for you and your family. Contact My Federal Benefits today to see how we can help you navigate your Federal employee retirement.