Whether retirement is near or far, prepare now

Friday - 5/27/2011, 12:37pm EDT

Ed Zurndorfer, registered employee benefit consultant

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

For some federal employees, retirement is right around the corner and for others it's a bit further away. In this time of frozen pay and potential changes to retirement contributions, there are certain things all federal employees should be doing to prepare for their post-work lives.

Ed Zurndorfer, a registered employee benefit consultant, offered these tips:

  • Start savings from day one of your federal career.

  • Make a "sincere effort" to maximize your Thrift Savings Plan contributions. A 5 percent contribution is really like putting in 10 percent of your pay because of the agency matching, Zurndorfer said.

  • Make a budget. Follow it.

  • If you owe a deposit for military service or temporary time, you should redeposit those contributions. "In so doing, that will add to their FERS annuity or there CSRS annuity," Zurndorfer said.