Author Topic: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?  (Read 29488 times)

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: SW Ohio
Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« on: March 02, 2017, 10:40:14 AM »
I'm wondering how you did it?  I assume that there is a separated investment account (Roth IRA, taxable account, etc.) involved...  But how does the FERS pension work or does it get delayed to your MRA?  Did you lose out on carrying your health insurance forward because of FIRE or can you pick it up at your MRA?  Were you able to pull from or move your TSP or does it have to sit until your MRA?

I am a fed with 17 years until minimum retirement age that wants to go FIRE, but there are a lot of additional benefits to stay to MRA... I'd like to know for experience how worth it those benefits really are?

Thanks

Ganon91

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 10:52:31 AM »
Havent FIRE'd yet, but like you I have a few decades to MRA. Plan is to rollover everything from TSP into T-IRA at separation of service, that way I can do a back-door Roth conversion to avoid income taxes on it.

As for the FERS portion, It'll just be a long wait until MRA to file the retirement paperwork. Sorry I haven't done a breakdown of the pros/cons of sticking it out to MRA (I never considered waiting that long).

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7202
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 10:56:27 AM »
I am an unretired fed who will not make it to his MRA.

I will defer my pension as long as possible.  This means you will lose inflation adjustments every year between retiring and collecting it, which significantly reduces its value.

I will lose health insurance and will not be able to restart it at my MRA, so I will have to buy insurance on the individual market.  This is straightforward under the ACA, but potentially difficult if it gets repealed.

You can transfer your TSP to a traditional IRA without paying taxes or penalties (though the expense ratio will be higher).  From the trad IRA, you can make annual rollovers into your Roth IRA, paying only the taxes in your bottom (hopefully zero) tax bracket.  After five calendar years, rollover amounts can be withdrawn from your Roth without taxes or penalties.  This effectively lets you access your TSP at any age, if you meet all of the conditions.  One condition is having five years of expenses to live on outside of the TSP, while the Roth conversions age.

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: SW Ohio
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 11:14:05 AM »
Lucky for me that I already have over 5 years of contributions in my Roth so I could withdrawal some of those while I'm doing the conversion ladder from my tIRA (which will eventually have the TSP money).  You can rollover the TSP once you leave federal service, correct?

I know that if I were to go early I will lose those years of service on my FERS, I'm just don't know how much the health insurance is really "worth" by going early.

nancyjnelson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 11:54:08 AM »
I am a retired fed with FERS+TSP, no other investment accounts.  As a Foreign Service officer, my MRA was 50 with 20 years in.  I retired at age 52 with 25 years.  I sold the house in DC and bought a house in Wisconsin.  My oldest was out of college, my youngest started this last year.  (I had pre-paid tuition via VA 529 plan. Since my kid is going to an out-of-state school, VA basically just sends the $$ to the UW-Madison.  It's enough to pay in-state tuition plus a bit more, so I'm just on the hook for room & board).  I continued the health plan.  The TSP is still sitting where I left it; I'll decide what to do with it later.  For right now I get my pension (reduced because I retired so early) plus a small supplement that represents SS.  At age 62 I'll lose the supplement, but gain SS.

Many of my former colleagues are/will be better off than I am - at least on paper.  I don't care.  I have avoided debt, lived below my means, and now have freedom.

Having a real pension is amazing.  I had thought about pulling the plug earlier, but am glad I stayed in.  While government service can be deadly, it can also be amazing because you're looking at the bigger picture.  For example, instead of being worried about making a specific sale (like I would have done in a private company), I was focused on helping ensure certain trade agreements gave American exporters a level playing field. There are a lot of different positions in the government; take the time to find one that's fun and that you can believe in.

kendallf

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 977
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 01:09:51 PM »
I'm a fed with about 6 years to go until my MRA, and the carrot of continued health coverage, immediate pension, and supplemental pension will probably keep me employed until then.

The health coverage is looking like the most valuable part of that right now.  You're eligible to keep coverage and the government keeps paying their portion of your premium (75%) which is huge. 

Add in immediate TSP access without penalty, pension, and the supplemental pension, and my biggest problem will probably be tax avoidance.  First world problems FTW!

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: SW Ohio
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 06:33:02 AM »
I'm a fed with about 6 years to go until my MRA, and the carrot of continued health coverage, immediate pension, and supplemental pension will probably keep me employed until then.

The health coverage is looking like the most valuable part of that right now.  You're eligible to keep coverage and the government keeps paying their portion of your premium (75%) which is huge. 

Add in immediate TSP access without penalty, pension, and the supplemental pension, and my biggest problem will probably be tax avoidance.  First world problems FTW!

This is exactly why I am considering sticking it out until my MRA.  I am fortunate that I am a DoD fed so it doesn't look like my employment will get affected by the current administration.

I just ran some extremely rough numbers based on my current High-3 and cost of healthcare... if I make it to age 80 the difference in pension alone (based on my two official ways to retire early) I will collect between $180-360k more by staying to MRA.  If I stayed until my MRA, I estimate that over $500k over my healthcare costs would be covered based on dying at age 80.  So I guess I'd have to do opportunity cost on what my freedom from my job is worth based on these numbers.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 06:57:45 AM by primozaj »

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7202
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 10:08:24 AM »
Fed-related question: If an early-out is offered/accepted (for those with 25+ years of service, but under the MRA) would I still have access to the FEHB or is that only available to those who go all the way to MRA?

I was thinking that early-out had all of the benefits of MRA but it occurred earlier (when momentarily offered by the govt). I knew that pension amounts probably wouldn't start until MRA, but was hoping the Healthcare would just continue on without having to leave the FEHB.

FEHB continues under VERA/VSIP.  Even if you haven't been covered for the preceding five years, they grant waivers for VERA.

Edit: FEGLI also continues, though no waivers if you're under five years of continuous coverage.

Edit 2:  this is why the VERA is the holy grail for aspiring early(ish) retirees.  Here's hoping the republicans gut the federal workforce.  Any fed who has 25 years in, at any age, is potentially eligible for winning the retirement lottery.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 10:37:13 AM by sol »

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 10:12:43 AM »
Following.

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: SW Ohio
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 11:06:53 AM »

FEHB continues under VERA/VSIP.  Even if you haven't been covered for the preceding five years, they grant waivers for VERA.


Thanks for confirming... I wasn't sure this was the case.  The two early out options would be nice for me with FEHB...  though with a hit to the pension...


 Any fed who has 25 years in, at any age, is potentially eligible for winning the retirement lottery.


... Or 50 years old with 20+ years in, though this may be a rarer form of VERA/VSIP.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 11:09:03 AM by primozaj »

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7202
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 11:15:29 AM »
Also of note: the FERS employee who takes a VERA gets their full accrued pension immediately.  No delay, no reductions.  If you started with the feds/army/peace corps at 18, you could get 25% of your high 3 starting at age 43, for the rest of your life.

You do have to forego COLAs until your reach your MRA, though.  It's not nearly as good as a military pension, but it's the closest thing out there.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 11:29:16 AM »
I'm FERS + TSP also.  Our plan involves a complex arrangement of TSP -> tIRA -> Roth IRA conversions.  DH is done with federal service so we are getting the ball rolling by pulling his balance in TSP over to a Vanguard tIRA.  I know, I know..."TSP is the best"...but its withdrawl policies lack the flexibility we need.  So moving to Vanguard we are. 

I'm out in another 1-2 years and we plan to do the same with mine.

Bruizer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 12:28:02 PM »
Also of note: the FERS employee who takes a VERA gets their full accrued pension immediately.  No delay, no reductions.  If you started with the feds/army/peace corps at 18, you could get 25% of your high 3 starting at age 43, for the rest of your life.

You do have to forego COLAs until your reach your MRA, though.  It's not nearly as good as a military pension, but it's the closest thing out there.

I believe you have to forego COLA's until you turn 62.


jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1614
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 12:53:01 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

Bruizer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 01:02:19 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

You can either withdraw it or take a deferred annuity when you turn 62.  https://hr.od.nih.gov/benefits/retirement/fersseparation.htm

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2017, 01:14:33 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

Hi Jezebel....you can take your money out, but it might be more valuable to leave it alone for the time being.  Of course that depends on if your FERS was withheld at the higher 3.1% rate or if you were grandfathered under the old .8%.  The ROI of course is going to be much higher for the .8% annuitant if its left in place for a deferred retirement.  Granted, you need 10 years of service for that.

Are you considering jumping ship?

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1614
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2017, 02:09:23 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

Hi Jezebel....you can take your money out, but it might be more valuable to leave it alone for the time being.  Of course that depends on if your FERS was withheld at the higher 3.1% rate or if you were grandfathered under the old .8%.  The ROI of course is going to be much higher for the .8% annuitant if its left in place for a deferred retirement.  Granted, you need 10 years of service for that.

Are you considering jumping ship?

No, I am only two weeks in.   But I figured that it would be good to know in case something changes in the future.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2017, 02:29:13 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

Hi Jezebel....you can take your money out, but it might be more valuable to leave it alone for the time being.  Of course that depends on if your FERS was withheld at the higher 3.1% rate or if you were grandfathered under the old .8%.  The ROI of course is going to be much higher for the .8% annuitant if its left in place for a deferred retirement.  Granted, you need 10 years of service for that.

Are you considering jumping ship?

No, I am only two weeks in.   But I figured that it would be good to know in case something changes in the future.
One thing I've noticed that a lot of newbies don't understand clearly...you are vested in your pension at 10 years.  HR offices never do a very good job of explaining that, but at 10 years, you can go do something else, and at 57-62 apply for your "deferred retirement".   Keep it in mind, because after 10, you gain a lot of flexibility that you don't have before that.

Bruizer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2017, 02:39:12 PM »
I tried to research this but can't find an answer:  what happens to your contributions to the basic benefit plan after vesting (5 years)?  I know you are entitled to a benefit, but lets say you leave service for good after 7 years, can you take your contributions back?

Hi Jezebel....you can take your money out, but it might be more valuable to leave it alone for the time being.  Of course that depends on if your FERS was withheld at the higher 3.1% rate or if you were grandfathered under the old .8%.  The ROI of course is going to be much higher for the .8% annuitant if its left in place for a deferred retirement.  Granted, you need 10 years of service for that.

Are you considering jumping ship?

No, I am only two weeks in.   But I figured that it would be good to know in case something changes in the future.

Since you just started, the basic benefit plan is withholding 3.1% of your salary.  Over seven years, that'll add up.  For instance, let's say your salary is $100k for seven years.  $100k x 0.031 x 7 = $21.7k that will have been withheld by the time you left; however, the pension will be $100k x 0.01 x 7 = $7k annually, starting at age 62.  Something to thing about.

Also, you only need 5 years of civilian service to be vested in FERS.

LivlongnProsper

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Age: 45
  • It's a new day, anything is possible.
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2017, 02:41:42 PM »

One thing I've noticed that a lot of newbies don't understand clearly...you are vested in your pension at 10 years.  HR offices never do a very good job of explaining that, but at 10 years, you can go do something else, and at 57-62 apply for your "deferred retirement".   Keep it in mind, because after 10, you gain a lot of flexibility that you don't have before that.


You are vested in the pension after 5 years but must wait until age 62 to collect.

CheapskateWife

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1403
  • Location: Central TX...but getting ready to hit the road
  • Countdown to fire in 3-2-1
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2017, 02:49:06 PM »
LivlongnProsper is right about the 5 years (I missed that part in the OPM handbook)...but then you don't have the option of drawing your pension any earlier than 62.

10 years means you can start drawing at your MRA (57) with a reduction...but again, its more flexible.

Or you could just take your cash and run.

Monkey Uncle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2017, 06:54:58 AM »
Fed-related question: If an early-out is offered/accepted (for those with 25+ years of service, but under the MRA) would I still have access to the FEHB or is that only available to those who go all the way to MRA?

I was thinking that early-out had all of the benefits of MRA but it occurred earlier (when momentarily offered by the govt). I knew that pension amounts probably wouldn't start until MRA, but was hoping the Healthcare would just continue on without having to leave the FEHB.

FEHB continues under VERA/VSIP.  Even if you haven't been covered for the preceding five years, they grant waivers for VERA.

Edit: FEGLI also continues, though no waivers if you're under five years of continuous coverage.

Edit 2:  this is why the VERA is the holy grail for aspiring early(ish) retirees.  Here's hoping the republicans gut the federal workforce.  Any fed who has 25 years in, at any age, is potentially eligible for winning the retirement lottery.

Keep in mind that there are potentially two types of early-outs.  The VERA option that Sol describes above is probably the more common one.  It can come with or without a voluntary separation incentive payment (VSIP). 

The second type of early-out is a stand-alone VSIP.  This is where an agency offers a one-time payment for resigning from federal service to people who do not meet the age/service requirements for VERA .  VSIPs are capped at a maximum of $25k and are subject to income, medicare, and SS taxes.  If you take a VSIP and resign, you are NOT eligible to continue your FEHB benefits beyond the normal COBRA period.

Also important to remember is that if you take a VSIP under either option, you can't be re-employed with any federal agency for 5 years, unless you pay back the full pre-tax amount of the VSIP.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 07:46:58 AM by Monkey Uncle »

marion10

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2017, 07:43:57 AM »
Actually eligible for FERS retirement right now, as is my husband. We are trying to decide what to do. I am in the middle of a training program that I feel an obligation to finish- I expect in the next two years we will pull the plug.

Yabous

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2017, 05:19:44 PM »
I jumped ship at 49 after 14 years of service. The idea of waiting until my MRA was unbearable for me. Bureaucracy and politics. I still think the TSP rocks and will leave my $$ there. I have taxable savings that will get me through and a spouse that loves to work. I will note a side benefit for the parents out there, as my daughter is attending an Ivy League school and our decreased income made us eligible for significantly more financial aid. We pay, but less than half of what we would have if I had continued to work. Is that not crazy??? Not sure when I will tap into the retirement plan. Probably early 60s or so.

Gunny

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Northeast Alabama
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2017, 10:40:20 AM »
I FIREd in August 2015 when my Agency offered a VERA/VISP.  I had a cumulative service of 34 years (20 Marine Corps and 14 Fed).  I "bought back" my military service, which only makes since if you were mid-grade enlisted (I retired an E-7) and a high grade civilian (GS-14 in this case).  Buying back my military service immediately made me eligible for the VERA/VISP.  My pension (34% of my high three) covers our living expenses plus a little wiggle room.  At 56 I am eligible for the FERS Special Supplement until age 62.  This is based on the amount of FICA taxes I paid during my 14 years as a Fed.  At 62 the COLA begins on my pension.  I do receive a monthly distribution from my TSP which we use for traveling. Even though I pay a 10% penalty on my TSP distributions, this is a better option for me as the amount I need plus the penalty is less than the lowest amount 72(t) computations allow.  I'm letting my ROTH grow as it will provide the option of paying off my mortgage in a few years if I decide that's the best course of action at the time.  Having been a retired Marine, Tricare continues to be our choice for medical care.  At 65 I will choose Medicare plus Tricare for Life.   

Bruizer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2017, 10:53:55 AM »
I FIREd in August 2015 when my Agency offered a VERA/VISP.  I had a cumulative service of 34 years (20 Marine Corps and 14 Fed).  I "bought back" my military service, which only makes since if you were mid-grade enlisted (I retired an E-7) and a high grade civilian (GS-14 in this case).  Buying back my military service immediately made me eligible for the VERA/VISP.  My pension (34% of my high three) covers our living expenses plus a little wiggle room.  At 56 I am eligible for the FERS Special Supplement until age 62.  This is based on the amount of FICA taxes I paid during my 14 years as a Fed.  At 62 the COLA begins on my pension.  I do receive a monthly distribution from my TSP which we use for traveling. Even though I pay a 10% penalty on my TSP distributions, this is a better option for me as the amount I need plus the penalty is less than the lowest amount 72(t) computations allow.  I'm letting my ROTH grow as it will provide the option of paying off my mortgage in a few years if I decide that's the best course of action at the time.  Having been a retired Marine, Tricare continues to be our choice for medical care.  At 65 I will choose Medicare plus Tricare for Life.   

If you have reached your MRA, you won't have to pay the 10% penalty on the TSP distributions, except for the portion that's a due to ROTH earnings until you're 59-1/2.  I'm in the same boat.  The Roth portion of my TSP is only about 1% of the total, and the earnings on the Roth portion is only about 10% of that. So, in essence, I'll be paying the 10% penalty on about 0.1% of my TSP distributions until I'm 59-1/2.  Too small of an amount to be concerned with.

Gunny

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Northeast Alabama
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2017, 12:40:59 PM »
Haven't reach MRA, and as I understand it, since I did not reach MRA when I retired, I will owe a 10% penalty on TSP distributions until I am 59.5 yo. 

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2017, 01:27:54 PM »
I'm a fed with about 6 years to go until my MRA, and the carrot of continued health coverage, immediate pension, and supplemental pension will probably keep me employed until then.

The health coverage is looking like the most valuable part of that right now.  You're eligible to keep coverage and the government keeps paying their portion of your premium (75%) which is huge. 

Add in immediate TSP access without penalty, pension, and the supplemental pension, and my biggest problem will probably be tax avoidance.  First world problems FTW!

Yep, same here, but only 2 years to go. In addition to the immediate FERS pension, I'll get the supplement for about 9 years, and I'll have access to my TSP immediately because I'm LEO and retiring after age 50. Tax avoidance will indeed be my biggest problem. Because of my pension, a Roth ladder doesn't really do me any good, though I do plan to work part time in a hobby job, and my wife will still be working for several more years and at that point we'll be back below the Roth threshold, so we can contribute to our Roth IRAs.

OP, if you've got at least 10 years in, then you are eligible for a pension when you reach your MRA (based on birth year/month), but as Sol pointed out, you will receive no COLAs on that pension until you begin collecting it at your MRA.  And no FEHB.

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2017, 01:30:29 PM »
I'm FERS + TSP also.  Our plan involves a complex arrangement of TSP -> tIRA -> Roth IRA conversions.  DH is done with federal service so we are getting the ball rolling by pulling his balance in TSP over to a Vanguard tIRA.  I know, I know..."TSP is the best"...but its withdrawl policies lack the flexibility we need.  So moving to Vanguard we are. 

I'm out in another 1-2 years and we plan to do the same with mine.

TSP is exploring expanding withdrawal options. Might be in place within that 1-2 year period.

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2017, 01:36:25 PM »
Haven't reach MRA, and as I understand it, since I did not reach MRA when I retired, I will owe a 10% penalty on TSP distributions until I am 59.5 yo.

I'm not aware of any MRA exception to early withdrawal penalties for TSP.  Only ones I'm aware of are LEO (retired in the year of or after 50th birthday), retired in the year of or after your 55th birthday for non-LEO, and 72t withdrawals.  Do you have an IRS or OPM source for this?

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2017, 03:12:10 PM »
I'm 46, with 21 yrs federal service.... so 11 years under MRA.  I definitely won't make it at my agency, since our leadership is clueless and we're wrought with a horrible culture of passive aggressiveness and crap politics.  Was leaning toward full FIRE this year, but with the mystery of what will happen to the ACA, I'm now trying to negotiate a part-time position to keep my healthcare. 

The carrot of the FEHB for life with full fed retirement is so tempting, esp since healthcare is so f'ed up in America.  But wasting away another 11 years in a windowless office (I'm in the intel/DoD business - we don't even have windows) when I really want to be out climbing and riding my bikes, scares me. I'm at my peak of health and fitness now, I want to enjoy the remainder of my 40's....

More and more I'm leaning toward trying to keep a part time federal job to keep accumulating service time and the FEHB, but ideally I want that job to be no more than 16 hrs a week and working outside. I will keep searching....


dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2017, 08:33:38 AM »
I'm 46, with 21 yrs federal service.... so 11 years under MRA.  I definitely won't make it at my agency, since our leadership is clueless and we're wrought with a horrible culture of passive aggressiveness and crap politics.  Was leaning toward full FIRE this year, but with the mystery of what will happen to the ACA, I'm now trying to negotiate a part-time position to keep my healthcare. 

The carrot of the FEHB for life with full fed retirement is so tempting, esp since healthcare is so f'ed up in America.  But wasting away another 11 years in a windowless office (I'm in the intel/DoD business - we don't even have windows) when I really want to be out climbing and riding my bikes, scares me. I'm at my peak of health and fitness now, I want to enjoy the remainder of my 40's....

More and more I'm leaning toward trying to keep a part time federal job to keep accumulating service time and the FEHB, but ideally I want that job to be no more than 16 hrs a week and working outside. I will keep searching....

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies?  We've had lots of people jump ship here at my agency for other agencies for various reasons (geography, promotion, etc.). And as far as your physical peak, I know plenty of guys still getting after it quite hard in their 50's and 60's.

CanyonMan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2017, 11:17:32 AM »
Replying to follow.

primozaj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: SW Ohio
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2017, 11:32:30 AM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 11:34:27 AM by primozaj »

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2017, 12:48:42 PM »
Also of note: the FERS employee who takes a VERA gets their full accrued pension immediately.  No delay, no reductions.  If you started with the feds/army/peace corps at 18, you could get 25% of your high 3 starting at age 43, for the rest of your life.

You do have to forego COLAs until your reach your MRA, though.  It's not nearly as good as a military pension, but it's the closest thing out there.

I believe you have to forego COLA's until you turn 62.

This is correct, whether with an early out or MRA.

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2017, 12:53:09 PM »
Haven't reach MRA, and as I understand it, since I did not reach MRA when I retired, I will owe a 10% penalty on TSP distributions until I am 59.5 yo.

I'm not aware of any MRA exception to early withdrawal penalties for TSP.  Only ones I'm aware of are LEO (retired in the year of or after 50th birthday), retired in the year of or after your 55th birthday for non-LEO, and 72t withdrawals.  Do you have an IRS or OPM source for this?

If you are MRA with 30 years of service, there is no penalty.

20 years of service, you have to be 60.

Early outs eliminate the non-MRA penalties and allow you to continue FEHB.  Early retirement on your own does not.

This is a good summary, with links to opm rules:
http://www.federalretirement.net/fers_eligibility.htm#Fers_Eligibility_Charts

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2017, 02:02:36 PM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.

Thanks dude, yes I've been stalking USAJobs for a while now but as primozaj says I don't think it's possible to move now.  The freeze was a 90-day order (from Jan 22nd I think) with the order for OPM to come up with new hiring guidelines thereafter.  So we'll see what comes out in late April.

The hardest part would be trying to find a 16-20 hour position that I wouldn't hate.  In the DC area, there have been lots of store clerk jobs to work at the PX stores on military bases (and I'm not opposed to that kind of work as I did it in my youth), but I'd still rather be outside. Even if that means a physical labor job.  It would be my workout :)

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2017, 02:10:46 PM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.

Thanks dude, yes I've been stalking USAJobs for a while now but as primozaj says I don't think it's possible to move now.  The freeze was a 90-day order (from Jan 22nd I think) with the order for OPM to come up with new hiring guidelines thereafter.  So we'll see what comes out in late April.

The hardest part would be trying to find a 16-20 hour position that I wouldn't hate.  In the DC area, there have been lots of store clerk jobs to work at the PX stores on military bases (and I'm not opposed to that kind of work as I did it in my youth), but I'd still rather be outside. Even if that means a physical labor job.  It would be my workout :)

Park Ranger in the PNW.  A utility hand on a DoD project.  Lawns keeper for one of the cemeteries.  Trainee for a trades and crafts field.  General Maintenance (usually takes care of the grounds-- mowing lawns, fixing sprinklers, digging ditches...)  Warehouse (not so much outside, but can be a nice "retirement" job and keep you pretty physical). 

I feel like I hit the jackpot with what I do.  I enjoyed my last job, but worked in a horrendous environment and had a calendar with the days until I was eligible for early retirement marked.  I threw that calendar away a few months after moving to my current job.  If my boss would commit to staying the 19 years until my MRA, I'd feel pretty great about my future here.  He has his flaws, but is the best boss I've ever had. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 02:15:32 PM by sparkytheop »

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2017, 02:25:02 PM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.

Thanks dude, yes I've been stalking USAJobs for a while now but as primozaj says I don't think it's possible to move now.  The freeze was a 90-day order (from Jan 22nd I think) with the order for OPM to come up with new hiring guidelines thereafter.  So we'll see what comes out in late April.

The hardest part would be trying to find a 16-20 hour position that I wouldn't hate.  In the DC area, there have been lots of store clerk jobs to work at the PX stores on military bases (and I'm not opposed to that kind of work as I did it in my youth), but I'd still rather be outside. Even if that means a physical labor job.  It would be my workout :)

Park Ranger in the PNW.  A utility hand on a DoD project.  Lawns keeper for one of the cemeteries.  Trainee for a trades and crafts field.  General Maintenance (usually takes care of the grounds-- mowing lawns, fixing sprinklers, digging ditches...)  Warehouse (not so much outside, but can be a nice "retirement" job and keep you pretty physical). 

I feel like I hit the jackpot with what I do.  I enjoyed my last job, but worked in a horrendous environment and had a calendar with the days until I was eligible for early retirement marked.  I threw that calendar away a few months after moving to my current job.  If my boss would commit to staying the 19 years until my MRA, I'd feel pretty great about my future here.  He has his flaws, but is the best boss I've ever had.

Sparky, that sounds kinda up my alley. I'd be able to keep active and keep my FEHB.  But 20 hours max :)  I know, I'm spoiled.  If this new Republican plan is good and gets enacted, I could still just take the full FIRE plunge, I have the FU money.  It's the healthcare wildcard that keeps me up.  For instance, I found out last week I have a small meniscus tear in my knee and need a routine arthroscopic surgery.  Right now, the MRI was $75 and the surgery will be $150.  If I had a high deductible plan or god forbid COBRA or something, who knows how much I'd be paying.....

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2017, 03:26:55 PM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.

Thanks dude, yes I've been stalking USAJobs for a while now but as primozaj says I don't think it's possible to move now.  The freeze was a 90-day order (from Jan 22nd I think) with the order for OPM to come up with new hiring guidelines thereafter.  So we'll see what comes out in late April.

The hardest part would be trying to find a 16-20 hour position that I wouldn't hate.  In the DC area, there have been lots of store clerk jobs to work at the PX stores on military bases (and I'm not opposed to that kind of work as I did it in my youth), but I'd still rather be outside. Even if that means a physical labor job.  It would be my workout :)

Park Ranger in the PNW.  A utility hand on a DoD project.  Lawns keeper for one of the cemeteries.  Trainee for a trades and crafts field.  General Maintenance (usually takes care of the grounds-- mowing lawns, fixing sprinklers, digging ditches...)  Warehouse (not so much outside, but can be a nice "retirement" job and keep you pretty physical). 

I feel like I hit the jackpot with what I do.  I enjoyed my last job, but worked in a horrendous environment and had a calendar with the days until I was eligible for early retirement marked.  I threw that calendar away a few months after moving to my current job.  If my boss would commit to staying the 19 years until my MRA, I'd feel pretty great about my future here.  He has his flaws, but is the best boss I've ever had.

Sparky, that sounds kinda up my alley. I'd be able to keep active and keep my FEHB.  But 20 hours max :)  I know, I'm spoiled.  If this new Republican plan is good and gets enacted, I could still just take the full FIRE plunge, I have the FU money.  It's the healthcare wildcard that keeps me up.  For instance, I found out last week I have a small meniscus tear in my knee and need a routine arthroscopic surgery.  Right now, the MRI was $75 and the surgery will be $150.  If I had a high deductible plan or god forbid COBRA or something, who knows how much I'd be paying.....

I think some of the grounds keeper jobs are part time.

I had looked into one of the cemetery assistant supervisor jobs in Europe, and actually applied.  It would have been my dream job!  I'm pretty happy where I am, so I'm putting applying for those types of jobs off until DS is moved out and I can become semi-fluent in French.  And I get tired of my job, since I have a pretty sweet deal.

Have to be careful with the part-time.  To keep the FEHB, make sure you are still classified as "permanent".  At least with my job, anything lower than 32 hours/week will increase your portion of the health insurance payment.  Avoid term or temp jobs (you probably know that already...) 

If I had my 25 years in, I'd love to be able to position myself into a job that has a high chance of being RIFed!  That's still another 8 1/2 years out though.

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2017, 03:32:23 PM »

Have you checked USA Jobs for other agencies? 


Unless something has changed over the last few days, I believe that we are still on a hiring freeze due to an executive order.

EDIT:  And I thought that included lateral moves as well as cross agency ones... but maybe not since I just got an email about a USA Jobs posting at Robins AFB.

Thanks dude, yes I've been stalking USAJobs for a while now but as primozaj says I don't think it's possible to move now.  The freeze was a 90-day order (from Jan 22nd I think) with the order for OPM to come up with new hiring guidelines thereafter.  So we'll see what comes out in late April.

The hardest part would be trying to find a 16-20 hour position that I wouldn't hate.  In the DC area, there have been lots of store clerk jobs to work at the PX stores on military bases (and I'm not opposed to that kind of work as I did it in my youth), but I'd still rather be outside. Even if that means a physical labor job.  It would be my workout :)

Park Ranger in the PNW.  A utility hand on a DoD project.  Lawns keeper for one of the cemeteries.  Trainee for a trades and crafts field.  General Maintenance (usually takes care of the grounds-- mowing lawns, fixing sprinklers, digging ditches...)  Warehouse (not so much outside, but can be a nice "retirement" job and keep you pretty physical). 

I feel like I hit the jackpot with what I do.  I enjoyed my last job, but worked in a horrendous environment and had a calendar with the days until I was eligible for early retirement marked.  I threw that calendar away a few months after moving to my current job.  If my boss would commit to staying the 19 years until my MRA, I'd feel pretty great about my future here.  He has his flaws, but is the best boss I've ever had.

Sparky, that sounds kinda up my alley. I'd be able to keep active and keep my FEHB.  But 20 hours max :)  I know, I'm spoiled.  If this new Republican plan is good and gets enacted, I could still just take the full FIRE plunge, I have the FU money.  It's the healthcare wildcard that keeps me up.  For instance, I found out last week I have a small meniscus tear in my knee and need a routine arthroscopic surgery.  Right now, the MRI was $75 and the surgery will be $150.  If I had a high deductible plan or god forbid COBRA or something, who knows how much I'd be paying.....

I think some of the grounds keeper jobs are part time.

I had looked into one of the cemetery assistant supervisor jobs in Europe, and actually applied.  It would have been my dream job!  I'm pretty happy where I am, so I'm putting applying for those types of jobs off until DS is moved out and I can become semi-fluent in French.  And I get tired of my job, since I have a pretty sweet deal.

Have to be careful with the part-time.  To keep the FEHB, make sure you are still classified as "permanent".  At least with my job, anything lower than 32 hours/week will increase your portion of the health insurance payment.  Avoid term or temp jobs (you probably know that already...) 

If I had my 25 years in, I'd love to be able to position myself into a job that has a high chance of being RIFed!  That's still another 8 1/2 years out though.

Yep, need the 'permanent' attached to the name. I'm in talks w/my agency now, but as a GS15 senior manager it's tough.  And they told me that my portion of the FEHB would proportionally increase in relation to my reduced hours. In other words, if I work 20 hr weeks, I pay 50% more than I do now.  No biggie, the coverage is still really good and it's WAY cheaper than ACA or other options.

I remember visiting the US cemetery in Luxembourg where Patton rests. We stumbled upon it by accident, it's right by Luxembourg's airport.  They keep those cemeteries immaculate.  That would be an honorable job to say the least!

doggyfizzle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2017, 04:41:28 PM »
It's the healthcare wildcard that keeps me up.  For instance, I found out last week I have a small meniscus tear in my knee and need a routine arthroscopic surgery.  Right now, the MRI was $75 and the surgery will be $150.  If I had a high deductible plan or god forbid COBRA or something, who knows how much I'd be paying.....

I'm in the same boat; while I've only got 5 years in as a Fed, I've got almost $300k in my TSP (some money rolled over from a previous 401k), and I'm going to approach FI in a couple years but....the uncertainty of acess to affordable non-employer-sponsored medical insurance really stresses me out, especially now that I have a kid.  One thing I have looked into is taking one (or more) LWOP blocks of 28 days straight so I won't lose healthcare and service time for FERS calculation, but can still get out and really do some stuff from time to time that isn't possible during a 1-2 week vacation.  I started at the exact age to hit 30 years of experience at my MRA (57), and will have also worked 35 years at that point, so there won't be any absent years of service on Social Security benefit computation, but man does it sometimes seem like I'm staring down an abyss when I think about working until 57.

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2017, 04:46:03 PM »
It's the healthcare wildcard that keeps me up.  For instance, I found out last week I have a small meniscus tear in my knee and need a routine arthroscopic surgery.  Right now, the MRI was $75 and the surgery will be $150.  If I had a high deductible plan or god forbid COBRA or something, who knows how much I'd be paying.....

I'm in the same boat; while I've only got 5 years in as a Fed, I've got almost $300k in my TSP (some money rolled over from a previous 401k), and I'm going to approach FI in a couple years but....the uncertainty of acess to affordable non-employer-sponsored medical insurance really stresses me out, especially now that I have a kid.  One thing I have looked into is taking one (or more) LWOP blocks of 28 days straight so I won't lose healthcare and service time for FERS calculation, but can still get out and really do some stuff from time to time that isn't possible during a 1-2 week vacation.  I started at the exact age to hit 30 years of experience at my MRA (57), and will have also worked 35 years at that point, so there won't be any absent years of service on Social Security benefit computation, but man does it sometimes seem like I'm staring down an abyss when I think about working until 57.

My HR dept brought the LWOP policy to my attention. Ours is complicated, but I'm keeping it open as an option.  They're supposed to get back to me with the full policy on it, but it seems kinda promising. And like you said, I think with LWOP you (mostly) keep full benefits.  I still have the problem that I can't do my current job and be gone for long, so I have to find a position/role that requires only sporadic work.

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 643
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2017, 09:12:16 PM »
Here, we are not *supposed* to use LWOP, but sometimes they allow it.  It's preferred if you keep enough leave on your paycheck to cover your portion of expenses (FEHB, FEGLI, etc) because then you know you are still paying your portion and they *shouldn't* cut you off.  If you don't have enough money on your check to pay those things, you can run into some issues with owing the government money.

If your job is flexible enough, and two weeks off is long enough, maybe see if your boss will allow you to front load/end load two pay periods to get that time off.  I get this built into my schedule every 10 weeks-- Pay Period 1, I work 12 hours/day for 6 days, the next week I work one 8 hour day to get my 80 hours.  Pay period 2, I work one 8 hour day the first week, then 6 12 hour days at the end of the second week.  If I take those two 8 hour days off, I get 16 days off in a row.  I have no idea if you could get away with that, for me it is built into my official schedule.  Sometimes it's really nice to not have to go to work for 16 days and just hang out at home and do what I want.

Accidental Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
    • Sweet designs for your outside lifestyle
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2017, 03:24:15 AM »
Here, we are not *supposed* to use LWOP, but sometimes they allow it.  It's preferred if you keep enough leave on your paycheck to cover your portion of expenses (FEHB, FEGLI, etc) because then you know you are still paying your portion and they *shouldn't* cut you off.  If you don't have enough money on your check to pay those things, you can run into some issues with owing the government money.

If your job is flexible enough, and two weeks off is long enough, maybe see if your boss will allow you to front load/end load two pay periods to get that time off.  I get this built into my schedule every 10 weeks-- Pay Period 1, I work 12 hours/day for 6 days, the next week I work one 8 hour day to get my 80 hours.  Pay period 2, I work one 8 hour day the first week, then 6 12 hour days at the end of the second week.  If I take those two 8 hour days off, I get 16 days off in a row.  I have no idea if you could get away with that, for me it is built into my official schedule.  Sometimes it's really nice to not have to go to work for 16 days and just hang out at home and do what I want.

Wow thanks for the info and ideas sparky, that sounds like a great way to work the system.  I didn't even consider the issue of having enough money on each check to cover the benes. I'd have no issue paying back my portions of FEHB etc monthy or even every 6 months, but I doubt they'd let me set it up that way.

MissGina

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Location: MD
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2017, 12:24:13 PM »
I'm a fed with about 6 years to go until my MRA, and the carrot of continued health coverage, immediate pension, and supplemental pension will probably keep me employed until then.

The health coverage is looking like the most valuable part of that right now.  You're eligible to keep coverage and the government keeps paying their portion of your premium (75%) which is huge. 

Add in immediate TSP access without penalty, pension, and the supplemental pension, and my biggest problem will probably be tax avoidance.  First world problems FTW!

This is exactly why I am considering sticking it out until my MRA.  I am fortunate that I am a DoD fed so it doesn't look like my employment will get affected by the current administration.

I just ran some extremely rough numbers based on my current High-3 and cost of healthcare... if I make it to age 80 the difference in pension alone (based on my two official ways to retire early) I will collect between $180-360k more by staying to MRA.  If I stayed until my MRA, I estimate that over $500k over my healthcare costs would be covered based on dying at age 80.  So I guess I'd have to do opportunity cost on what my freedom from my job is worth based on these numbers.

This is me too, but I got 19 years until MRA. While I don't like my job, I keep telling myself how blessed and lucky I am to be 19 years away from a pension and healthcare. Positivity is the key! We can make it!

Bruizer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #46 on: March 09, 2017, 06:54:28 AM »

This is me too, but I got 19 years until MRA. While I don't like my job, I keep telling myself how blessed and lucky I am to be 19 years away from a pension and healthcare. Positivity is the key! We can make it!

This is what has kept me going all these years.  Now I've got six months to go. :-)

randommadness

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
  • Location: Denver
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #47 on: March 09, 2017, 07:30:50 AM »
Just hopping in to spread some more FERS+TSP love.

My like worst case is out at 50, with at least $1.2M in TSP, deferred 30 year pension starting at 57. About to hit 11 years in May, a few months before I turn 31. I GOT TIME.

Unfortunately with politics, laws, and not being Nostradamus I can't predict what the healthcare landscape will look like so I'll just be hoping by then I can afford it, even off the Gov teat.

Cycling Stache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 462
  • Age: 42
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2017, 07:48:54 AM »
Following because I just learned about VSIP from this thread.

I'm currently at 8 years in, and I'm not going to hit any retirement age calculation.  I did not know about the VSIP lump sum payment for those who did not otherwise qualify for early retirement past the minimum retirement age.

The only thing I noted was that $25k sounds good, but it's 2 months of work for me.   So it only makes sense to use when you're about ready to jump anyway.

I do think that VSIP payments are likely, because I believe there was an executive order about trying to accelerate the reduction of the federal work force, and this seems like a good candidate, although I'm sure they'll lead with the early retirement folks since those are typically the highest salaries.

For the annuity, as indicated above, it vests after 5 years.  If you don't hit a minimum retirement age or other qualification, you get it at 62.  It's (number of years employed) times (high 3 average salary) times (1%) for those folks.  I don't think there's a chance that number will renegotiated for already employed workers since it's part of the compensation package.  I view it as a decent supplement to social security, but definitely not something I'm going to work years longer just to increase.

For the health benefit, that does seem like a good deal, especially for those able to get full retirement at an early age.  For the rest of us, though, if retirement is otherwise at 62, isn't that just bridging the gap until Medicare (assuming there's a Medicare, of course)?  I realize the years 62-67 are probably costly for insurance, but I just want to make sure I understand what exactly the benefit is.

marion10

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
Re: Any FERS + TSP FIRE folks out there?
« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2017, 09:08:27 AM »
Right now ( and who knows what the future will hold) when you retire on an immediate annuity, you get o carry over your FEHB benefits at the same rate (including an employer contribution) as an employee. This is a very good deal. You also have access to open season, so you can change plans each year if another plan suits you better, You can include your spouse and children up to age 26.