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Most federal employees may already know that supplemental Social Security is a benefit available to them. However, many may not know how they might qualify for this benefit, where it is paid from, or what other factors may affect them.

How you qualify for supplemental Social Security is probably the first thing you will want to know. Our financial professional, Galen Bargerstock, explains that anyone that has minimum retirement age and thirty years of service can collect supplemental Social Security. In addition to that, someone that is age sixty with at least twenty years of creditable service can also qualify.

Another thing many people may not know is that it’s not Social Security that pays the supplemental Social Security; it’s paid out from the FERS pension as an equivalent based upon their Social Security earnings for age sixty-two.

Suppose you have the minimum retirement age and thirty years of service. In that case, it starts at seventy-five percent of what you’re supposed to get from Social Security at age sixty-two, starting at your minimum retirement age. If you have more than thirty years of service, it pays out at a higher percentage than seventy-five percent. If you are sixty with twenty years of service, you will get a fifty percent supplemental Social Security payment. If you have more than twenty years of service you will get paid out at a higher percentage.

All payments last until age sixty-two, and then it’s up to you to collect Social Security if you want to. At that time, you will need to contact the Social Security office. There is no need to cancel supplemental Social Security; it will automatically stop when you reach the age of sixty-two.

If you have military time to buy back, that will help you qualify because it will count towards your thirty years of service. However, although it will help you qualify, it will not pay out on any military service, so you would get a lower percentage if you buy back the military time. For example, say you worked at the post office for twenty-six years, and you bought back four years of military service. You would be qualified for supplemental Social Security because you would then have a total of thirty years of service; however, the supplement won’t pay out that full seventy-five percent because it will only pay for the Postal Service time, not the military time that you bought back.

One other thing that you may want to know is if you qualify for supplemental Social Security, but you are not fifty-nine and a half, you can take out money from your Thrift Savings Plan without the IRS ten percent penalty.

The best way to know if you qualify for supplemental Social Security is to meet with our financial professional, Galen Bargerstock. He has spent the last ten years honing his knowledge of federal benefits and retirement. If you would like to schedule a review, please call our office at (724)915-0005, and our Outreach Specialist, Lorraine, will be happy to assist you.

Galen Bargerstock, President of Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC

Registered Representative, offering securities through Encompass Investments, a division of Verity Investments, Inc. [Member FINRA, SIPC]. Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC (GCES) is not affiliated with Verity Investments, Inc. Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC is not affiliated with or sponsored by any federal or state governmental agency.