Nowadays almost all countries provide pensions on retirement in old age which is sponsored by either the employers and / or the government. There exists numerous retirement plans providing pensions, savings, investments and financial security. In this age of technology, one can get easy access to best retirement plans and its benefits, updates and notices with the help of internet. The United States government has an independent agency named as “The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM)” that manages the public service of the federal government. It is working on a site that helps American people with their retirement strategies. Information about various pre retirement and post retirement plans are easily available on the website www.opm.gov.
Planning for retirement is easy by going through pre retirement section. It consists of detailed information about various retirement plans such as:
CSRS Retirement: Only individuals with at least five years of federal service in a position subject to CSRS coverage for one of the last two years before the retirement are suitable to be covered under CSRS plan. Two types of creditable services are provided under CSRS plan – CSRS civilian and CSRS military services. To get the retirement voluntarily on an immediate annuity, the only requirement is: an individual must be of fifty five years with thirty years of service, or of sixty years with twenty years of service or at any age with twenty five years of service.
Benefits: If any employee dies having at least 18 months of service, then annuity benefits will be provided to the individual’s surviving other half and/or children. Children’s survivor benefits are given without any decrease in annuity.
FERS Retirement: This retirement plan provides benefits from three different sources: social security, basic benefit plan and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two types of creditable services are provided under FERS plan – FERS civilian and FERS military services. To get the retirement voluntarily on an immediate annuity, the only requirement is: an individual must be of fifty five to fifty seven years with thirty years of service, or of sixty years with twenty years of service or of sixty two years with five years of service. Earlier retirement is also possible in this plan with an immediate annuity at age of fifty years with twenty years of service or at any age with twenty years of service.
Benefits: Two from three parts of FERS (the two parts are Social Security and the TSP) can transfer to your next job if you leave the Federal Government former to the retirement. If any person dies as an employee with at least eighteen months of service, then whole sum of benefits will be provided to the individual’s surviving other half and/or children.
The pre-retirement section also gives information on the benefits of the plan for the survivor on the death of any employee covered under the CSRS and FERS retirement plan. And you can always know what’s new in the plan by surfing the official website.
The post retirement section gives information that is useful for retirees and their families.
Important queries like getting your first payment, credit for federal civilian service if retirement contributions are not made, withholdings from interim payments, what you will be getting when the office of personnel management finishes processing your application, how to change your health insurance and life insurance coverage after retirement, how much is the taxable portion of retirement benefits, etc. is answerable by referring the post retirement section.
One of its sub sections “Life Events” give useful information to retirees and their families about the affect of many events such as marriage or divorce, reemployment, death of other half or third party payees, etc. on the retirement benefits.
You can also know, what will be the process of getting the benefits by the survivor in case of death of the employee under CSRS and FERS retirement, child beneficiaries, deceased survivor benefits, student benefits, etc. from the site.
Insurance, an ideal tax saving scheme, is helpful to keep your family financially secure. Along with retirement plans, retirees can have the benefits of various insurances such as life insurance, health insurance, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Long Term Care (LTC) and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).
Many online services are available for the facility of retirees. Management of monthly annuity, notification of missing payment, reporting of death of retiree or survivor, etc. is possible online. By opening a personal treasurydirect account, one can purchase, manage and cash in I bonds safely.
In addition to these facilities, there are many useful tools like calculators which are capable to figure out monthly Federal income tax preservation and compute the tax free portion of annuity payments. With the help of online Student Self-Certification System, verification of student’s full time high school and college attendance can be done easily. In Payment Schedule, one can find out the last day to make changes in your next payment. You can also get periodic emails from Retirement ListService by creating an account giving required information such as name and email address.