It’s never too early to be thinking about your retirement. Whether you are 30 or 60, there are always simple things you can do to help prepare for Federal retirement. When you are ready to retire you are going to want to maximize all of your benefits, which is why preparing for retirement in advance is important!
- Understand your Official Personnel Folder: It’s important that you verify ALL of your civilian and/or military service prior to retirement. By reviewing your OPF regularly, you can request any missing HR records before it’s time to retire. By having a complete folder now, you’ll save yourself lots of hassle later on.
- Start a TSP Early: Even if you can’t contribute a lot when you first start your TSP, it’s important to try and contribute at least 5% of your paycheck each pay period to your TSP. If you can’t start that high, start with 2-3% and increase as time goes on.
- Understand the Basics of Federal Retirement: Our team of Federal Benefits Specialists are equipped to help you understand the Federal retirement process. Depending on your year of hire you may qualify for CSRS or FERS, and both systems have different rules and regulations which are important to understand.
- Manage Your Health Insurance: When it comes to Federal health insurance (FEHB), it’s important to make sure you sign up during the enrollment period to ensure that you are eligible. Federal employees do have the option to continue with FEHB once they retire as long as they have been enrolled in the system for at least 5 years prior. The enrollment period usually lasts from early November to early December each year.
- Manage your Sick and Vacation Leave: Did you know that if you are covered by CSRS or FERS you’ll receive a lump sum payment for any unused annual leave? This can’t increase your length of service, but you can get a nice payout post-retirement. When it comes to sick leave you are not compensated for any sick leave that is unused, but the balance will be converted into days of service. Moral of the story? Understand where you are at with sick and vacation leave as you get close to retiring.
All of these steps can seem overwhelming which is why our Federal Benefits Specialists can help you navigate through the process. We have specialists located across all of the US, so please feel free to contact us today to discuss how we can help you with all of your retirement needs.
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