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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?

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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.

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computerscott2  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 24, 2017 4:26:23 AM(UTC)
computerscott2

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Ed,
I have 25 years government service but am only 47 years old. It is all under FERS. I have been offered a position with a state government. If I take that position when do I need to apply for federal retirement? Now with deferral until 62/65/66/67? or when I reach one of those ages? If I remember correctly I am not eligible for SS until 67, so would it be wise to put 20 years in at the state gov, get that retirement plan and then stack with federal retirement, SS and TSP?

Or would it be wise to return to federal government closer to retirement age, i.e. 5 years before retiring to get health benefits?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 24, 2017 3:51:16 PM(UTC)
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If your state job can offer you health benefits for life then FERS deferred retirement starting at 60 would be your best choice. Keeping your TSP money in the TSP would also be a wise move.
thanks 1 user thanked Ed Zurndorfer for this useful post.
computerscott2 on 10/26/2017(UTC)
computerscott2  
#3 Posted : Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:00:59 AM(UTC)
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Can I still be working at the other job and collect my FERS retirement? Would I qualify for the Special Supplement until age 62 or is that only for current employees who immediately retire?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#4 Posted : Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:43:48 AM(UTC)
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You will be able to collect your FERS annuity while working for the state government. You will not under the deferred retirement rules be able to collect the retirement supplement annuity.
computerscott2  
#5 Posted : Friday, October 27, 2017 3:31:39 AM(UTC)
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Thanks so much!
Ed Zurndorfer  
#6 Posted : Friday, October 27, 2017 5:50:49 AM(UTC)
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You are most welcome.
Go saints  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, November 27, 2018 12:13:30 PM(UTC)
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One thing to keep in mind. My wife worked for the state, which did not deduct SS taxes as it did not participate in the SS system. As such her paycheck was larger, but she retired with no SS entitlement from her state work, just her state pension. However, before going to work for the state, she had worked in the private sector a sufficient amount of time to have SS entitlement from that employment.

She had a choice: take SS from prior employment but then held ineligible to receive her state pension, or take the state pension but then be held ineligible to receive SS.

I would suggest researching if those particulars could apply to your employment with the state if you are there long enough to vest for a state pension.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, November 27, 2018 2:33:00 PM(UTC)
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Thank you for input into this forum.
gh1  
#9 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 8:58:34 AM(UTC)

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If this were my situation, I would continue in my Federal position until reaching minimum retirement age, which would be 57 for this individual. By working for another 10 years, he would have 35 years of service, 10 more years of FERS contributions, and no concerns about having to try to return to the Federal system for at least 5 years to secure lifetime health benefits coverage, among other things. All of this additional Federal service would provide a wonderful retirement and avoid the complications of going to a State position. It's not clear to me what the benefits would be of shortchanging one's potential Federal retirement by taking a State position and picking up some minimal credit in a State retirement system.
Ed: can you please comment on this assessment of mine?
Ed Zurndorfer  
#10 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:27:29 AM(UTC)
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Your assessment and recommendation is completely logical and makes good sense.
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