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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

Ask your question here.

The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

Your question will be put into a message queue and submitted for review. We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered, however any answered questions will appear below, and some will also be featured in our daily Federal Daily e-newsletter (Subscribe here). Federal Soup users should not submit replies to the questions posted, as we leave the replies for the moderator only. Any replies to questions other than the moderator will be deleted.

Please do not submit employee benefits questions to the webmaster or the forum moderator.

Note: FederalSoup.com has attempted to compile information that is as accurate and current as possible for federal employees. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. Therefore, no warranties are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this column. If additional clarification or information is needed, it is suggested that competent and professional assistance be sought. Mr. Zurndorfer does not moderate other forums on FederalSoup and will not reply to general FederalSoup inquiries submitted in this Q&A forum.

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don101  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 09, 2017 7:55:01 AM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/2/2009(UTC)
Posts: 5

I know you can't contribute to your FSA after retirement but can you still use remaining funds in your FSA after retirement?

For example, say I plan to retire in June 2017 and have $1000 unspent. Can I still get reimbursed for expenses incurred later in 2017?

Related question: I understand FSAFEDS won't come after you for using more money than you have in your account but I'm wondering if that also works post-retirement. Yes, FSAFEDS can see you've stopped paying into your account but they can't necessarily interpret that to mean you've retired. Since my original election was specified by "annual contribution" (and I let the date of last payroll deduction default to the end of the year, and similarly let the # of pay periods default to 26), I'm wondering if they'll stop my reimbursements based on what I originally promised or based on my actual retirement date. Has anyone tried to claim reimbursements after retirement for promised-but-uncontributed funds?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 09, 2017 2:43:58 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 5,184

Was thanked: 100 time(s) in 90 post(s)
The short answer to your questions is no. The only medical, dental, or vision expenses that you can get reimbursed for from your health care FSA after you have retired from federal service are those qualified expenses incurred before you or an eligible family member incurred before you retire from federal service. Also, the FSA administrator (Wage Works) will know you have retired from federal service because at that point you would not be contributing any more to your health care FSA.
don101  
#3 Posted : Monday, January 09, 2017 8:06:32 PM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/2/2009(UTC)
Posts: 5

Thanks for the answering my first question.

As for my second question: Are you sure? Just because FSAFEDS sees you've stopped contributing doesn't mean they should assume that you've retired. You could be on Leave Without Pay, for instance. I would think they'd need explicit notification that you've retired before they start rejecting claims.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 10, 2017 6:49:51 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 5,184

Was thanked: 100 time(s) in 90 post(s)
When you retire, your personnel or payroll office will tell the FSA administrator you are retired (and no longer on the payroll) and therefore ineligible to be reimbursed for any medical, dental or vision expenses you or an eligible family member incur after you retire. Being on Leave without Pay is a different situation because you would still be in an employee status.
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