DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR FEDERAL EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS?
If you are a federal or civil service employee with questions about any of your benefits, call Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC (GCES) today at 800-985-3272.
GCES can help with questions you have about:
- Disability Insurance
- Long-Term Care
- Health Care
- Retirement Planning
- Spousal Benefits
- Social Security
- Survivor Benefits
- Life Insurance
- Thrift Savings Plan
- Retirement Paperwork
Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC prides itself on the personal attention we spend with our clients, helping them understand and maximize their benefits and retirement. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation.
THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP)
The Thrift Savings Plan (“TSP”) is a retirement saving and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. It was established by Congress in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 and offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. The TSP is a defined contribution plan, meaning that the retirement income you receive from your TSP account will depend on how much you (and your agency, if you are eligible to receive agency contributions) put into your account during your working years and the earnings accumulated over that time.
For more information, regarding each of the TSP’s lifecycle funds, please visit https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundsOverview/comparisonMatrix.html
Description of Investments
Government securities (specially issued to the TSP)
Government,corporate, and mortgage-backed bonds
Stocks of large and medium-sized U.S.companies
Stocks of small to medium-sized U.S. companies (not included in the C Fund)
International stocks of more than 20 developed countries
Invested in the G, F, C, S, and I Funds
Objective of Fund
Market risk, Credit risk, Prepayment risk, Inflation risk
To match the performance of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
To match the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index
To match the performance of the Dow Jones TSM Index
To match the performance of the MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australasia, Far East) Index
To provide professionally diversified portfolios based on various time horizons, using the G, F, C, S, and I Funds
Market risk,Credit risk,Prepayment risk, Inflation risk
Market risk, Inflation risk
Market risk,Inflation risk
Market risk, Currency risk, Inflation risk
Exposed to all of the types of risk to which the individual TSP funds are exposed- but total risk is reduced through diversification among the five individual funds
Low to moderate
Moderate to high historically more volatile than C Fun
Moderate to high historically more volatile than C Fund
Asset allocation shifts as timehorizon approaches to reduce volatility
Types of Earnings***
Change in market prices Interest
Change in market prices Dividends
Change in market prices Dividends
Change in market prices relative value of currency
Composite of earnings in the underlying funds
2017 Net Administrative Expenses****
* The F, C, S, and I Funds also have earnings from securities lending income and from temporary investments in G Fund securities. These amounts represent a very small portion of total earnings.
** Each of the L Funds is invested in the individual TSP funds (G, F, C, S, and I). The proportion of your L Fund balance invested in each of the individual TSP funds depends on the L Fund you choose.
*** Income from interest and dividends is included in the share price calculation. It is not paid directly to participants’ accounts.
**** Net expenses are offset by the forfeitures of Agency/Service Automatic (1%) contributions of FERS and BRS
participants who leave Federal Service before they are vested, other forfeitures, and loan fees.
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GROUP LIFE INSURANCE (FEGLI)
The Federal Government established the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (“FEGLI”) Program on August 29, 1954. It is the largest group life insurance program in the world, covering over 4 million Federal employees and retirees, as well as many of their family members. Most employees are eligible for FEGLI coverage. FEGLI provides group term life insurance. As such, it does not build up any cash value or paid-up value. It consists of Basic life insurance coverage and three options. In most cases, if you are a new Federal employee, you are automatically covered by Basic life insurance and your payroll office deducts premiums from your paycheck unless you waive the coverage. In addition to the Basic, there are three forms of Optional insurance you can elect. You must have Basic insurance in order to elect any of the options. Unlike Basic, enrollment in Optional insurance is not automatic — you must take action to elect the options. The cost of Basic insurance is shared between you and the Government. You pay 2/3 of the total cost and the Government pays 1/3. Your age does not affect the cost of Basic insurance. You pay the full cost of Optional insurance, and the cost depends on your age. The Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (“OFEGLI”), which is a private entity that has a contract with the Federal Government, processes and pays claims under the FEGLI Program.
NEW HIRE AND RETIREMENT PAPERWORK
It’s no secret that there is a lack of HR support available to federal employees. Add the incredible amount of paperwork that can come about with life changes and events, and there wouldn’t be any surprise seeing an employee become overwhelmed. While the federal employee retirement system is arguably the best in the country, its greatness triggers complexity. Questions such as knowing your “retirement date” versus your “date of final separation” and whether to enter that respective information on either block 2, section B of the SF-2801 CRRS Retirement Application or SF-3107 FERS Retirement Application are just a few you will encounter that we will be able to assist you with.
With the myriad of mutual funds and other variable products available to you within the financial universe, receiving the proper insight and knowledge about them is critical, regardless of whether you are self-managing your money or contributing to an employer- based retirement plan.
Annuities are arguably the most common, most utilized, yet most misunderstood financial products available to consumers today. In fact, most investors have no idea that there are actually four very different and unique types of annuities available to them. Instead, most people have been misled by both the media and certain financial personalities who misrepresent and lump all annuities together as if each one works exactly the same. So what exactly is an annuity? According to the dictionary, an annuity is an amount of money that is systematically paid to a person for a specified period of time, often for the rest of his or her life. Essentially, an annuity is just a good old-fashioned income stream. Today there are four different types of annuities available to consumers, and it’s often likely that it would make sense for you to have at least one of them in your overall retirement plan.
*Annuity guarantees are based solely on the financial strength and claim-paying ability of the issuing company and compliance with product requirements.
RETIREMENT INCOME STRATEGIES
It’s become rarer and rarer for anyone to have a future income stream that he or she can rely on during retirement. Several financial products, however, do provide the opportunity for federal employee retirees to create their personal pension. A comprehensive income strategy with all of your goals, objectives, and concerns can also help alleviate the stress of worrying about running out of money.