FERS

  “Understanding Your FERS Benefits

Understanding Your Federal Retirement Benefits (FERS)

by Edward A. Zurndorfer, EA, CFP, CLU, ChFC, CEBS, ChFEBC

Day 1: FERS Benefits

A. Overview of FERS & Different Types of Retirement   

a. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

b. Types of Service Used for Determining Eligibility to Retire Under FERS

c. Employee & Agency Contributions to FERS

d. Military Service & Temporary Time – Effect on Retirement Eligibility & FERS Annuity Computation 

e. Minimum Age & Service Requirements to Retire Under FERS

f. Early Retirement: VERA or VISA

g. Deferred Retirement

h. “MRA + 10” (“Postponed” Retirement)

B. Annuity Computation

a. Amount of an Annuity

b. Length of Service Including Unused Sick Leave

c. High-3 Average Salary

d. Effective Date of Annuity

e. FERS Annuity Computation

f. FERS Transfers from CSRS

g. Special Retirement Supplement

C. Possible Reduction in FERS Annuity

a. Early Age

b. Redeposit

c. Deposit

D.   Survivor Benefits

a. FERS Spousal Benefits

b. Survivor Benefits – Spouse & Individual with an “Insurable Interest”

c. Survivor Benefits – Former Spouse

d. Survivor Benefits – Children

e. Lump-Sum Death Benefit

f. Beneficiary Forms

E. Other Benefits for FERS Participants

a. Federal Employees Health Benefits Program – Post Retirement  

b. Federal Employees Group Life Program – Post Retirement

c. Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Benefits Program – Post Retirement

d. Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program – Post Retirement

F. Other Information for FERS Annuitants

a. Submission of Retirement Application

b. Receipt of First Annuity Check

c. Future Questions Regarding Retirement & Insurance Issues

d. Death Claims

Day 2: Social Security/Medicare & the Thrift Savings Plan

Day 2 (AM) Social Security & Medicare

A. Overview

B. Social Security Benefits and How They Fit Into the FERS Retirement

C. How to Figure Your Retirement Benefit Amount, When to Start Receiving It, & Possible Offsets (Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset)

D. Family Benefits under Social Security

E. Survivor Benefits under Social Security

F. Disability Benefits under Social Security

G. Applying for Social Security Benefits

H. Medicare Eligibility: Why Should FERS Annuitants Enroll in Medicare?

a. Enrolling in Medicare

b. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

c. Medicare Part B. (Medical Insurance)

d. Services Not Covered by Either Medicare Part A or B.

Day 2 (PM) The Thrift Savings Plan

A. Overview of the TSP & How It Fits Into Federal Retirement

B. Getting Started in the TSP

C. Contribution Limits & Matching Contributions

D. Transferring Money into the TSP

E. Distributing Monies Among the TSP funds

F. Monitoring One’s TSP Account

G. Overview of the TSP funds

H.  Withdrawal Options Upon Leaving Federal Service

 I. Other Issues Affecting TSP Including Bankruptcy, Child Support, & Court Orders

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Edward A. Zurndorfer is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant, Certified Employees Benefits Specialist and IRS Enrolled Agent in Silver Spring, MD. Tax planning, Federal employee benefits, retirement and insurance consulting services offered through EZ Accounting and Financial Services, located at 833 Bromley Street Suite A, Silver Spring, MD 20902-3019 and telephone number 301-681-1652. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Edward A. Zurndorfer or EZ Accounting and Financial Services. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. While the employees of Serving Those Who Serve are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

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