12:09 pm, April 25, 2015

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  • CSRS & FERS parity
    contrarian
    IF govt increases FERS annuity employee contribution (through our paychecks) how will that affect CSRS? If only FERS is changed then that will create one more advantage to CSRS system. FERS already has diet-colas that don't even start until 62. AS far as I can tell, most of govt is not GS-15 and the main benefit of Fed Service is the retirement benefits, which is why people stick around. No one envies fed pay during the good times. You don't see hordes of people applying for IRS jobs or border patrol. Even companies like Ford that suspended 401K matches during the bad times, reinstated them after a year or so. I'm not in denial of a budget crisis, but the reality is it's not the fed benefit package that is bankrupting the govt, unlike state and local govt, where fire chiefs can get $500,000/year retirments.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Planning to Retire? Have a Cash Stash!
    Celtic Wolf
    I plan to retire soon. I am afraid of the economical impact of that decision. I am blessed to be a high grade and expect $107k annuity after almost 40 years of CSRS service. That translates to only $53k for up to a year and waiting for 148 days minimum for my lump sum. I respect and applaud OPM's John Berry for hiring 80 more people, possibly increasing the initial annuity percent, and any other actions he may take to help fellow federal employees. What happens to that GS5 with the same 40 years I have? How can someone live on a $25k annuity if their high three is about $70k? What is going on in our country? How is it we work for 40 years and then told we are to save 50-100k and pray someday our annuity will come at full face value? It is very sad times for America, why work for it anymore. It has given up on us, and now it is time to give up on it - I plan to retire and move to a foreign country.
    Celtic Wolf
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Retirement
    Moderate
    Good luck in your retirement. I am also CSRS. If the government changes our retirement or plays around with my pay next year, I will probably leave before the results take effect. Guess they will get their reduction in force that way.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Interim Payments Not Quite as Bad as Indicated
    GHARR
    My experience as a recent maxed-out CSRS retiree would indicate that the 40-50% interim payment rate described in the Commerce Department memo cited in Mike's column is an extremely low estimate. My interim payments have been within 80% of my agency's estimate. However, I am going into my fifth month receiving interim annuity payments, and would still advise anyone planning on retiring to be financially prepared for the long haul. FederalSoup.com has a great forum for retirees (as well as many others). You will find that many folks encounter different issues dealing with OPM, and there seems to be no apparent "typical" case. Some folks get processed quickly, and other cases drag on for a year or more. It does not seem to matter if you have a "plain vanilla" case like mine - 43 years with one agency and no breaks in service - or if you have a mish-mosh of history with different employers, maternity leave, service breaks, military, pay-backs, etc. Just count on waiting, and be financially prepared. All that said, retirement is still great!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Have a Cash Stash
    American
    Due to the slow processing of retirement paperwork, how many former federal retirees have been forced to file for bankruptcy and/or lost their homes due to the slow processing? It makes me very afraid to retire which I have been eligible to do for the past eight years.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • GHARR
    Retired CW
    I retired on January 2, 2010 with 48.5 years and had a plain vanilla retirement package. The payment for accrued annual leave was received on January 25th and came from the payroll office. My interim payment began on February 1, 2010 at about 85% of my anticipated fixed annuity. It went downhill from there. I began calling OPM in April for a status on my final determination and the only information I could get was my file was not in process yet. I might add the OPM employees do not return calls for messages left in their voicemail box. There were other times that the employee's voice mailbox was full and one could not record a message. This went on until June 2010 when I obtained their organizational chart that had titles and phone numbers. While it took another month I finally found an executive in OPM who felt my pain and the final determination was completed in three days. There is hope for earlier final determinations if one is assertive but deplomatic, don't get angry! CW in Cincinnati
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
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