12:58 am, July 13, 2014

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  • I will not be a Zombie
    deployed decoy
    I ran the numbers. I will have 37.08% of my Hi3 under FERS this Dec 31, a month after I turn MRA (56). If I was to continue working, assume my Hi3 basically stays at what it will be 31 DEC 12. I assumed my salary will go down, should I move back to the USA under higher locality rates than RUS. I assumed this because I would be willing to lose a full grade just to get out of Kuwait. The following needs observed. I would lose an estimated $13,000 a year by continuing to work by not receiving the FERS Social Security Supplement. This works out to around $77,000 over six years. Assuming congress does not kill the SSS as they keep attempting to do, your vote matters here people. Assuming congress is successful in raising FERS contributions a full 5% more over the next few years. I would also lose another 20.5% of my gross salary working until 62. The total lost in my gross around $94,000 by working until 62. Or to put it perspective about 16 months of the 72 months I would need to stay on the payroll to age 62, I would be working for FREE. I would get that all important FERS 1.1% bump at 62, taking my FERS annuity to exactly 48% of Hi3. Thus an estimated $8,000 more a year in FERS retirement. It works out that in retirement I would have lost money for 12 years in retirement before that added 11% in FERS made up for continued working to 62. This also assumes congress in the next 18 years did not screw up FERS or Social Security any further by say termination that age 62 FERS 10% bump, or raising the full SS retirement age to 86 1/2. I might hang around next year long enough to max out my TSP contributions, this would give me a little more than $500,000 in that account. Course the down side of this is the debt. It is very possible since all my money is in the G fund (awaiting buying in at a SP of 850 when the crash comes) would be seized by the US Govt and even under federal law to make me whole again when the debt limit is raised. I have little faith that this would happen with a debt of 20 Trillion or more by late 2013. If all discretionary spending stopped today (as in zero funding to put out forest fires or man FAA control towers) and all Defense and social programs like Welfare and Medicare were frozen forever at todays rates. It is going to take around 100 years to pay off the debt. This is not going to happen. Feds are going to save the country by being rendered the lowest of welfare recipients, so the CEOs of major banks, defense contractor and billionaire trust funders as the home team, against welfare voters keep the balance in congress as it is today. Did I note your vote is worthless as compared to the sum of the whole.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Don't forget foregone wages
    will4567
    The other advantage of retiring early is the possibility of finding a position on the private side. Despite the load of fog from the pay comparers, many in the federal government can find equal or better pay on the private side. Additionally, many of the jobs in high tech, advanced degree type work are in very high demand despite the poor economy. Get out, work your 72 months on the private side and put in to a 401K. I can't follow all your numbers, but if you are pumping in near the max and your 401K gets a decent return you might end up with something north of an extra $70K more for your retirement. The people who hang on as zombies because they can't afford to retire and can't find a job on the private side are going to be extremely demoralized. Good luck, politicians, getting your federal workforce to make you look good. I expect your below 20% approval ratings to take a dive when the American public finds out how ineffective you are at providing basic goods and service with rising debts and a demoralized workforce.
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  • The cap
    deployed decoy
    I only plan on working part time at best. FERS SSS is subject to the same earnings test as real SS. Something just over $14k/Yr for 2012. Thus any earned income over this, a person loses $1 in SSS for every $2 in earned income. In short after about $1200 a month you work for half price for the next $2400. The FERS SSS is not SS when you turn 62, you can just not apply for SS and go back to work full time. Then around 66 YO (whatever your full SS retirement age is) apply for unreduced SS payments, even if you are still working full time, since there is no earning test at full retirement age. I question why I am getting screwed while every private sector person gets to receive SS while working full time at 66 these day when SS is hurting so bad. Everyones case is going to be different. Bottom line is a full reduction in federal pay of 5% in 5 years - for the rest of your federal life, that gets you ZERO added retirement. Or working for free 1 year out of 20 just to pay this new tax on feds.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Manipulation Consternation
    Teachersson
    Governement can try to manipulate what will happen with people deciding to retire, but all in all, they hang on as long as they can. The FERS plan is already very weak at 20% (city governemnt and country government has not even stooped that low after people give their lives to one job). People have many deciding factors like their health, if they like where they work, and what their income would be if they retired. Each decision is an individual one. However, we all know that cost of living adjustments have also be raided by the same raiding party every year. If inflation demands 3% COLA, most years people are getting practically nothing - which means stay on the job longer and try to get raises before you retire. Most people I work with are waiting longer. The new retirement age is going to be 75 years old if you don't simply die first.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Retirement
    Linda
    What Congress should have done was index Social Security Retirement age to Life Expectantcy when it started. Then the age of retirement would have been increasing all along, and peopoe would expect it. But no, Congress likes to fiddle with laws as they go along so they can take some misguided credit for messing it up................As far as Federal Retirement I still have 5+ years to go for minimum retirement on FERS. How Decoy is getting 37+% on FERS when it has only been around 28 years is beyond me. I though when FERS started you were either on it, or you converted to a hybrid (part CERS and part FERS if you were already working).............I have too much time invested to leave, so have no choice but to stick it out and retire when I plan to at 62 or 63. If I love my job at the time I may wait to 65 (husband is fully eligible at 66 - he's a yaer older), but I do not plan on working until 67.
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  • what about the LEOs
    thth
    Everyone keeps forgetting about the Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who have a mandatory out age of 57. No "choice" to hang in there or not. What about us?
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  • LEOs are safe for now
    deployed decoy
    All the white noise of doing away with the FERS SSS gave mandatory folks like fire and law enforcement the SSS at any age that meets the 20 Yr thing. But is this really true. I mean I know CIA, Secret Service and many other LEO jobs have people in high places that have more than 20 years of federal service. Maybe congress will kill the FERS SSS for you and just add to that law you must be promoted to SES at 20 years in the field with a gun. LINDA: I did the post 56 military buy back. Got 8 years added to my APR 1984 FERS date. My adjusted in service date is APR 1976. Course I was screwed on this to some degree. HR told us FERS folk for years post 56 was a waste of money. That is until around 1998, when the word got out to buy back. OPM went as far as waiving interest for all of the 1980s because they were in this bad also. I owed around $3000 for those 8 years. I owed almost $5000 in interest from 1990 to 1999 no thanks to idiots in HR and OPM. 0.4 years converted to months is 50% of my accrued sick leave. Takes me to 37.08%. Course being a numbers guy. I also figured out I will lose 17 days of sick leave. I feel an eye condition coming on. Think I will call the boss and tell him I cant see coming to work every other Friday from about mid SEPT. Also the FERS SSS is only based on actual FERS service years. So that will be about 71.6% (28.66 FERS years over 40) of the social security I would otherwise receive at 62. That I will note SS is based on the highest 35 years. So I have no idea how much to really expect in the FERS SSS payments.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • SSS estimate
    Joe
    You can ballpark estimate your SSS benefit by going online at ssa.gov. See how much you will get at age 62 and multiply that by your FERS years/40 (which for you is 71%). Another downside to retiring at 56 in FERS is that you don't get any kind of COLA until age 62 - and then you get a diet COLA (1% less than the CSRS folks unless it's already under 2%).
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  • Yes you can
    deployed decoy
    But SS is based on the highest 35 earning years. The FERS SSS thing based on 40 earning years. Nothing on the market lets you put in those other 5 years to the formula. Might be one reason it takes OPM so long. Also the SS site and annual estimate we all get in the post. Assumes that last years (what every last year was) wages will remain the same through the year you turn 62. So even that number is off (could be by a LOT) if anyone takes the FERS SSS retirment prior to 62.
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  • Changing rules
    contrarian
    You're right that we all need to be aware of changing rules. Yesterday's plan is officially RIP. Today's plan may change tomorrow. It's all about what options are available. I have no doubt the choices will be worse tomorrow than today, hopefully there will be a tolerable option even if it's not a great option. Working here sounds good until you find out that the job that's left is rougher than ever. I'd say live frugal and slash costs. Too late for most people to buy coins, but be ready, because when the bottom falls out opportunities will be everywhere. But the $10-15/hr private sector doesn't look good at any level.
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  • Team Zombie
    MDBBALL02
    I am at the top of my grade, Step 10, so I guess I am not one of those who has still gotten an increase in pay due to a WIG or promotion during the freeze. So my High "anything" has already been permanently impacted. The worst thing they can do to me is raise the retirement age or eliminate the SS offset, which would force me to stay 6 years past my anticipated Retirement age of 56. Moving the goal post WOULD make me a zombie in every sense of the word. After all media's daily Federal bashing and attacks to my livelihood by Congress, on behalf of an UNGRATEFUL Nation, ENOUGH is ENOUGH! You MAKE me stay -- my Heart (and that of colleagues) REALLY won't be in it anymore, and productivity would suffer. Don't get me wrong, I love my agency, love what I do, and I bust my rear and have for 29 years thus far, but there is a fact Congress forgets--We are American too, with fewer rights that the public we serve! (Can't strike, can't speak publically about our employer, can't really be interviewed, no private sector sized bonuses, etc...) If Congress adds 6 more years to my service requirement, they will pay me 100% of my salary for 6 more years, as opposed to 36% plus SS offset for those same 6 years! I guess that makes sense to those bozos, because to anyone else with a brain between their ears, that should never even be considered!
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  • To Team Zomebie: Salary savings to govt
    contrarian
    Assumes you've already retired on the job.
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  • Team Zombie
    disgusted fed who hopes to hold out until retirement
    Finally getting around to reading some of these articles (been busting my tail, as well). I am in a 3-year wait for the WGI, while people around me who are in good with the AO get promotions. 20 months & 2 days left.
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