Retire Federal exists to help prepare federal employees for retirement, provide assistance when applying for benefits, and guidance to those who need direction when navigating the maze of FEHB along with the ins and outs of coordinating Medicare with FEHB. Welcome to the September issue of Retire Federal's newsletter that we've designed to provide updates of changes and issues of interest for retiring and retired federal employees.
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NEED TO KNOW
Open Season is coming, November 8 - December 13. You'll be able to change your health, dental and/or vision plans. You can participate the Flexible Spending Accounts. More information to come in the next couple of newsletters.
COLA preview for most retirees will be effective December 1 and reflected in the January annuity payment. Right now it appears CSRS retirees will receive around 6% and most FERS retirees about 5%. Watch for the announcement of the exact amount that will be released around mid-October from the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with every major news outlet...the COLA applies to Federal retirees, military retirees, and Social Security recipients. That's a lot of people!
Employees may see 2.7% average pay increase based President Biden's recommendation. Final decisions on employee pay increases usually are made the end of December. For most feds, the increase would be effective January 2, 2022. The January pay increase will be reflected in the lump sum annual leave payments for those retiring at on December 31, 2021. Due to payroll processing, be aware that the lump sum leave payment may be initially paid at the 2021 rate with a supplemental payment that follows a pay period or two later.
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) rates are changing as announced in the Federal Register. Many employees will see this reflected in their first pay check in November. Retirees will see the change reflected in their November check. Basic insurance is increasing one cent per $1,000 biweekly. Some rates of optional coverage are decreasing for younger enrollees, but increasing for those above age 65. More about FEGLI in our next newsletter.
A FEW MORE THING TO NOTE:
FEHB & Medicare B Webinar
Are you starting to think about your health care costs and wanting to know the benefits of having Medicare Part B? Learn why you should you keep FEHB, but consider which FEHB plan works best with Medicare A & B. Learn about the benefits having FEHB and Medicare. Join Tammy on Wednesday, September 15 at 2 P.M. ET as she provides an in-depth look at coverage options on a webinar hosted by NARFE and is free to NARFE members. Please register here. The cost is $48 if you are not a NARFE member.
There a primary documents to provide to your attorney if you are preparing for a divorce.
Adult Children Incapable of Self-support
Thanks for those responding to the questions in the last newsletter. Adult children who are incapable of self-support (generally not able to earn at least a GS 5 ,Step 1) due to physical or metal disability may continue on their federal parent's insurance. The laws for the various benefits are different and so the eligibility to continue specific benefits vary. The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) allows for coverage if the disability existed before the child reached age 26 and the condition is expected to continue at least one year. The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) law is similar to the FEHB except the age retirement to continue coverage is if the disability began before age 22. Similarly, the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)Option C includes family member coverage if the disability existed before the child reached at age 22.
Employees need to work with their agency as they are responsible to make the determination for eligibility for FEHB and provide documentation to BENEFEDS to determine FEDVIP eligibility. Also employees would start the process to file a death claim under FEGLI Option C with their agency. Retirees need to work with OPM.
CSRS or FERS Survivor benefits for an adult child are also available though the mental or physical disability must have incurred before they turned age 18. There is no cost for children's survivor benefits.
Your Voice Matters
What are your thoughts on FEGLI's cost and value? Choose your best answer.
It is fairly priced for what it is. Select
It is too expensive and I've purchased private coverage. Select
I had it when I was younger, but I'm considering reducing coverage. Select
I waived coverage, but wish I had the coverage now. Select
It served it's purpose and now I only keep the Basic FEGLI Select
I don't really understand life insurance. Select
I don't need FEGLI coverage Select
RETIRE COMFORTABLY -
RESOURCES FOR A FINER FUTURE
Plan your Federal Retirement Podcasts with Tammy Flanagan and Micah Shilanski, CFP partner to provide fun and informative retirement planning guidance
Retirement Planning Tammy's weekly column appearing on www.govexec.com covers what you need to know for a successful transition to retirement. Get the latest stories and updates sent to your inbox every Friday.
TSP offers free webinars for federal employees and uniform members.
Tammy's team provides one-on-one consultation on all your important retirement decisions as well as navigating FEHB and Medicare. Contact the team here.
NARFE Federal Benefits Institute's upcoming webinars (must be a NARFE member to register). Join NARFE today!
To B or Not to B! Is Medicare Part B Right for You? Wednesday, September 15 2 p.m. ET
Understanding TSP Funds and How to Diversify For Your Life Stage Thursday, September 30 2 p.m. ET
Understanding Medicare Advantage Options, Thursday, October 14 | 2 p.m. ET
Federal Dental and Vision Insurance: FEDVIP Explained, Thursday, October 28 | 2 p.m. ET
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR RETIREMENT TODAY!
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