OPM Hacked: What You Need To Know and What You Can Do

Last week, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that in April they found a data breach in their system from last year. OPM manages security clearances for most government agencies, as well as managing the Federal Civil Service. What Happened? According to OPM, the breach may have compromised the personal information of four […]

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6 Little-Known Facts About FERS Retirement

More than a Three-Legged Stool Most Federal Employees are familiar with the of the FERS retirement program—the basic annuity, TSP investments, and Social Security.  But there’s more to the FERS retirement system than these basic components, and we’ve gathered 6 little-known FERS retirement facts to spark your interest and help you maximize your retirement. 1. Collecting Social Security and […]

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CSRS Offset: Who Are You?

CSRS and FERS When we talk about federal benefits, we are usually talking about CSRS or FERS employees. In most cases, employees who started government service before January 1, 1984 are CSRS employees, with a retirement benefit based almost solely on a pension. Employees under CSRS don’t contribute to Social Security, so they don’t receive Social Security benefits unless they […]

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The CSRS Voluntary Contribution Program

The CSRS Voluntary Contribution Program has been available to CSRS or CSRS Offset employees for many years. VCP can be a very useful option for the CSRS employee to significantly increase their retirement savings by allowing them to contribute up to 10% of their lifetime federal earnings to this account.  Unfortunately FERS employees or those who transferred to FERS from CSRS […]

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CSRS Voluntary Contribution Program – The Additional Annuity Option

A Big Benefit With a Cinderella Story While the CSRS Voluntary Contribution Program (VCP) can be a great benefit for CSRS employees, it is often given far less attention than the CSRS retirement annuity and the FEHB plan. However, the VCP offers great options like the opportunity to supercharge a Roth IRA account or have a second […]

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The CSRS Survivor Annuity vs. Life Insurance: The Dilemma

Survivor Annuity vs. Life Insurance:  The Conversation Starts The CSRS survivor annuity option is part of every federal retirement annuity.   This option is not free, but your spouse has to give consent if you decide not to take it. It can reduce your annuity up to 10% if your spouse is five or less years younger than […]

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A Survivor Benefit Primer

Overview The retirement annuities under CSRS and FERS have a survivor benefit option that can provide your spouse with an annuity after your death. Your annuity can be up to 55% of your full retirement annuity if you are a CSRS employee, or up to 50% for employees under FERS. Your spouse’s initial survivor annuity will include any COLA increases […]

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*CSRS Retirement: The Old Faithful of Pension Plans

Diminishing CSRS Covered Workforce Each year that goes by there are less and less Federal Employees covered under CSRS. It may be before the end of the decade when only a few remain to walk about the cavernous corridors of our Federal office buildings. Around 10% of the Federal workforce is currently covered under CSRS. Of […]

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Understanding Your Survivor Benefits

The retirement annuities under CSRS and FERS have a survivor benefit option that can provide your spouse with an annuity after your death. Your spouse’s survivor annuity can be up to 55% of your full retirement annuity if you are a CSRS employee, or up to 50% for employees under FERS. Your spouse’s initial survivor annuity will include any COLA increases […]

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Irreversible Mistakes with Your Federal Benefits

Our recent post, Trust but Verify, showed that relying on your agency’s HR staff to determine your retirement qualifications can have serious consequences. There are many common mistakes that Federal Employees make regarding their benefits that can have irreversible effects, including the selection of FEGLI Option B by younger Federal Employees that we discussed in an earlier post. […]

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