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Advice: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-23-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Advice: getting back into a govt job

Any tips on retirement from those who are doing the civil service thing? Special investment options, pension requirements, etc...anything that you would have done differently as it relates to government work and personal finances?
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-23-2005, 06:18 PM   #2
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

Soup -

I retired in early 2003 under CSRS.* Most likely your father's earliest opportunity to retire would be at 60 yo* after a total of 20 years where he would be able to get 36.25% of his top-three (less about 10% of that for spousal annuity if he passed away after retirement).*

He would want to max out his Thrift Savings Plan (401k lookalike, .1% ER) and to put $ into a Roth.*

Nothing really different about govt work other than you get an overview of many types of problems, opportunities, and viewpoints;* I was pretty pleased with my career.

JohnP
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-23-2005, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

It could get complicated but as he is an attorney I am sure he will figure it out
There are a special set of rules for being rehired. He will probably not be able to get back under CSRS. But he may be able to buy back some years of service.
The rules for new employees (since the 1980s) under FERS is a lot like commercial plans. You get 1% automaticly and then (I think) a matching 5% and then you can put in another 5%. He would want to at least get the matching % and then maybe a Roth. Someone on this board knows all the rules , Im under the older, CSRS system so I don't follow the latest developments. But the federal system is very straight forward compared to my wife's system as a teacher. And everything is posted on the web.
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

He can pick up his unused sick leave balance from when he left before.* This should happen automatically, but if it doesn't, then the Benefits group at DoJ should be able to help him get that restored.

Browsing the www.opm.gov website can provide a lot of useful information; for example: http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.asp
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 09:57 AM   #5
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

" he wants to bump up the last three years of his government salary so that his federal pension will be higher. "

Ahhhhh........* Our tax dollars at work.


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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
Ahhhhh........* Our tax dollars at work.
Hey, at least he's working for them and paying into Social Security & Medicaire. Consider the alternative of him spending our tax dollars on his welfare, social services, & Medicaid...
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 03:46 PM   #7
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

"Hey, at least he's working for them and paying into Social Security"

Nords...... True true. I'm just sometimes amazed at the gap between what's happening to private sector benefits and pensions and what is provided in the public sector. My DW retired after 35 years in the public sector and I'm on the one hand delighted at the generous and guaranteed retirement package she received. But, on the other hand, it facinates me that we (USA gov) is able to afford it while the private sector is cutting so deeply.

Also, fyi, most fed public sector employees don't contribute to SS.
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

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Originally Posted by youbet
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I'm just sometimes amazed at the gap between what's happening to private sector benefits and pensions and what is provided in the public sector.
Me too. I wonder how much has to do with the fact that the public sector is far more unionized than the private sector.
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 04:01 PM   #9
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

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Originally Posted by Martha
Me too.* I wonder how much has to do with the fact that the public sector is far more unionized than the private sector.
I think it has more to do with the complete lack of any downward pressure. For example, lots of municipal pensions boosted their benefits during the dot-com boom, but how many of them lowered the benefits after the bust? Now many of them are running deficits, so they just issue more bonds or raise taxes. Nobody even sees the problem until it's a crisis, and then the answer is to spread the pain over all the tax payers rather than the government employees.
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 05:11 PM   #10
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
"Hey, at least he's working for them and paying into Social Security"

Nords...... True true. I'm just sometimes amazed at the gap between what's happening to private sector benefits and pensions and what is provided in the public sector. My DW retired after 35 years in the public sector and I'm on the one hand delighted at the generous and guaranteed retirement package she received. But, on the other hand, it facinates me that we (USA gov) is able to afford it while the private sector is cutting so deeply.

Also, fyi, most fed public sector employees don't contribute to SS.
That all changed on the Federal level in the 1980s. The Federal retirement program is now and has been for 20 years a defined contribution 401k type plan with Social Security. Someone had the foresight to make that transition. I am under the older system so I do not pay or get SS. Overall the new FERS plan can be superior to the old plan but only if full employee contributions are made. The "good" thing about the shift IMHO is that it will take public pressure off restructuring my retirement as there will be less and less of us. Now state & local is a different issue.
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
"Hey, at least he's working for them and paying into Social Security"

Nords...... True true.* I'm just sometimes amazed at the gap between what's happening to private sector benefits and pensions and what is provided in the public sector.* My DW retired after 35 years in the public sector and I'm on the one hand delighted at the generous and guaranteed retirement package she received.* But, on the other hand, it facinates me that we (USA gov) is able to afford it while the private sector is cutting so deeply.*

Also, fyi, most fed public sector employees don't contribute to SS.* *
Youbet: Just a point I am curious about.

My wife was a homemaker and never contributed to soc. sec. (Actually about 3 years prior to our marriage, but not qualified).

In any case, she qualifies for half my soc. sec. benefit.

Wouldn't your wife also qualify for half of yours?
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job
Old 10-24-2005, 10:33 PM   #12
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Re: Advice for father: getting back into a govt job

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Youbet: Just a point I am curious about.

My wife was a homemaker and never contributed to soc. sec. (Actually about 3 years prior to our marriage, but not qualified).

In any case, she qualifies for half my soc. sec. benefit.

Wouldn't your wife also qualify for half of yours?

No. There are provisions preventing this. I'd elaborate but the subject had been covered on this site more than once. It's fair really. She recieves a generous pension from the goverment, never contributed to SS and if she received half my SS, it would be going over the line.
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