Federal Employees Continue to Retire in Greater Numbers Than in Previous Years

The trend that began over a year ago of Federal employees continue to file for retirement at an increased pace compared with recent years is ongoing.

According to statistics from the Office of Personnel Management, 7,510 federal workers filed for retirement in November. That figure is a 34 percent increase over the same month in 2017, when 5,572 employees retired.

Statistics show that for the last two months there seems to be a continuation of increasing numbers of workers leaving the civil service. A study of fiscal year 2018, which ended on Sept. 30 show retirements were up 24 percent from the previous year.

If you are among those Federal Employees that has retired or is planning to retire, you will want to consult with an expert first to inquire about your federal benefits, insurance plans, and retirement strategies. Call The Benefit Coordinators today and make an appointment with one of our federal benefit coordinators. We have been helping retirees from the Federal Government with their federal retirement plans for years and we have the answers you are looking for. There is no charge so contact us today!


TSP Unveils Plans for Expanding Withdrawal Options

The federal government’s 401(K)-style retirement savings program officials announced in December that they are planning to make it easier for participants to manage their investments.

The Thrift Savings Plan has implemented the 2017 TSP Modernization Act. That law allows federal employees and retirees to make multiple age-based withdrawals from their TSP accounts and remain eligible for partial withdrawals after they leave government. Those who have left government are able to make multiple partial post-separation withdrawals, and retirees will be able to change the amount and frequency of their annuity at any time, instead of only once per year.

Are you confused about these laws and what they mean to you? The Benefit Coordinators can help! We make it our business to say on top of all the changes in the Federal Government pension and retirement plans so we can advise our clients on how to best manage their retirement and benefits. Contact us today for an appointment and see what a difference knowing what your options are and how you can enjoy more of your retirement benefits.

We have years of experience helping Federal Government employees reap the benefits of retiring from government service. You can rely on us to get you the information you need to make those all important decisions.


Federal Retirement Claims Increase 24 Percent in Fiscal 2018

The Office of Personnel Management has released new data regarding the number of federal employees who filed for retirement. The number of retirees increased 24 percent in 2018 over the previous year.

OPM published retirement statistics earlier that showed that 7,142 employees filed for retirement in September 2018. That brought the total federal retirement claims in fiscal 2018 to 105,298, marking a 24.1 percent increase over the number of claims from the federal workforce in fiscal 2017, which totaled 84,807.

Federal employees are often older than the private sector workers and observers have noted that there would be a wave of federal employees retiring within the next few years. In July, 14 percent of the federal workforce was eligible to retire and within five years, that figure is expected to jump to 30 percent.

The stock market is doing better than ever, which also creates a possibility for earlier retirement. If you need information about what your federal benefits are and what your federal employee retirement is going to look like, just make a call to The Benefit Coordinators. We know the laws and the different ways you can enhance your retirement and benefits you are entitled to. Feel free to contact us at your convenience to make an appointment with us.


An Increase In Take-Home Pay Is Coming – How Will You Use It?

Within the next two months, the average American worker will likely see an estimated increase in their take home pay of $70 a paycheck, or $2,000 a year, due to the 2017 Tax Reform Act.

It’s anticipated that most Americans will immediately absorb the extra money as part of their normal budget spending; $70 per pay period could easily justify a nice dinner out or a new phone or cable upgrade for many individuals.

Think about how you can use this increase towards your retirement benefits.

The Benefit Coordinators can help advise you on how to make this windfall work in your favor. We have the experience, knowledge, and professionalism to advise you on the decisions will make your future retirement more enjoyable. The decisions you make today will make a huge difference in the future.

Contact us today and make an appointment to consult with one of our federal benefit coordinators. We can help you with your financial planning and help you understand your federal employee benefits.


Thrift Savings Plan Board Approves Five-Year Lifecycle Fund Increments

The panel that oversees the retirement savings plan for federal employees on Wednesday unanimously approved offering lifecycle funds targeted to within five years of participants’ expected retirement date rather than the current 10-year increments.

A report on the TSP’s investment options by consultants at Aon Hewitt recommended following a trend in private 401(k) providers to offer lifecycle funds – which move investors to a more conservative portfolio as they near their anticipated retirement date — on a five-year basis.

“Most have been moving to five-year increments,” Bill Ryan, a partner at the firm, told the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. “It helps bridge the gap for participants, and it’s easier to figure out where to place someone based on their age.”

The TSP will implement the new L Fund increments in 2020.

Aon Hewitt also recommended that the TSP’s I Fund, which is made up of international stocks and bonds, be diversified to include stocks in Canada, emerging markets, and international small-cap markets.

“These are large markets to which we have no exposure,” Ryan said. “By adding these, we would improve the risk portfolio for participants, as well as improve outcomes on a forward-looking basis.”

The board during its monthly meeting approved further examination of expanding the I Fund’s portfolio, which Sean McCaffrey, deputy chief investment officer for the FRTIB, said could be done by this fall.

“We want everyone to be fully comfortable with what we’re getting into,” he said. “We’ve got a little more studying to do just to be prudent.”

“We must be thoughtful about this because of the different risks associated with various markets,” said board chairman Michael Kennedy.

Elsewhere on the agenda, TSP officials briefed the board on their progress with preparing for the onset of the blended retirement system for the military, which is scheduled to come online in January. Under the system, new troops would automatically be enrolled in the TSP and receive a matching contribution from the government. The government will contribute between 1 percent and 5 percent of service members’ salaries toward their TSPs, depending on what they elect to contribute themselves, though they will be defaulted into contributing 3 percent of their paychecks. The TSP account will begin 60 days into their service. Those who stay in the military for 20 years, and are thereby entitled to a retirement pension, would receive a less generous calculation for their annuity.

The new blended retirement system only automatically affects new service members starting Jan. 1, 2018. Current service members are grandfathered into the existing system, but can opt into the new one. The online opt-in website for service members launched in April, and more than 163,000 people have already signed up online. Tom Emswiler, a senior adviser for uniformed services at TSP, said more have signed up through offline training events.

Emswiler said testing of the TSP and military services’ payroll systems will commence next month, and beginning June 6 the Defense Department website will offer an online calculator for service members to determine whether to opt in to the blended system or stay with their current pension plan. They will have all of 2018 to make that decision.

TSP project manager Tanner Nohe said the agency is working to increase its IT and call center capacity to deal with the influx of new enrollees in time for the automatic enrollment system to come online.

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