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Old 02-15-2009, 02:23 AM   #21
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Ahh, yet another perk the controllers get. Sure wish all the retirements were basically the same. I won't get anything for my sick leave (110 days)and my pension will be calculated at highest 3 x 1 (1.1 if I go 30+ years). Controllers and some others get highest 3 x 1.7 off of 20 years.....I think. Why the difference? Just better unions?
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:20 AM   #22
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The fed police and firemen get the same deal I think, 1.7% a year.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:37 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Khan View Post
I switched from CSRS to FERS. Got retirement credit for sick leave I had at time of switch. Retired with more than 1000 hours. IF it passes, I'm sure it won't be retroactive.
Khan,

You're one of the few folks I've heard say they opted to switch to FERS from CSRS. I'm CSRS, and will retire in 3 yrs, 10 mos. when I get to age 55. That'll give me just a hair under 36 yrs.

Looking back, can you tell me how you feel in hindsight about swithching? How many years did you have when you swithched, did you max your TSP from that point on, and would you go back & stay CSRS if you could?

I hear the debate all the time and just wondered from an actual "switchee's" point of view. I gave it some consideration back in the day when they made the sales pitch, but for some reason, and not really based on anything other than distrust, I chose to stay with the old system. I've contributed some to my TSP but like most others, I'm down a good bit. I have been maxing for a couple yrs and will continue until I retire.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:34 PM   #24
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Khan,

You're one of the few folks I've heard say they opted to switch to FERS from CSRS. I'm CSRS, and will retire in 3 yrs, 10 mos. when I get to age 55. That'll give me just a hair under 36 yrs.

Looking back, can you tell me how you feel in hindsight about swithching? How many years did you have when you swithched, did you max your TSP from that point on, and would you go back & stay CSRS if you could?
At the time I was in graduate school and thought the portability of the TSP would be nice. I didn't always max it (there was a divorce in there somewhere).

Go back?

As I have said before: "There's no such thing as 'should have'."

Quote:
I hear the debate all the time and just wondered from an actual "switchee's" point of view. I gave it some consideration back in the day when they made the sales pitch, but for some reason, and not really based on anything other than distrust, I chose to stay with the old system. I've contributed some to my TSP but like most others, I'm down a good bit. I have been maxing for a couple yrs and will continue until I retire.
I don't recall the numbers now, but I did work through them and do some research.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:27 AM   #25
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I still think the problem with TSP is that people (definitely me) just didn't understand how to take the most advantage of it. With hindsight (I still have a few years to go) I would have stayed with the old system. It is better for the majority of people. Most people just don't want to learn how to put their money away for retirement. I was absolutely one of them, and almost everybody I know is the same way. A few people understood what they needed to do right from the beginning and will end up no worse off....but for the majority of people the automatic savings of the old system would have left them in a better position. As I have stated before, I was just a foolish young fella' who got talked into switching before I understood that you didn't automatically trust the Govt to do the best thing. My fault...no excuses other than I wish they had presented both sides and their benefits at that time. They didn't. They really, really wanted people to switch to the TSP and they chatted up that side of things only. After all these years....I "think" I have learned my lesson...bit late of course, but I can say that almost everybody I know still have no clue how to use the TSP like they should. Being a school teacher I would be shot for presenting material to students in the manner that this has taken place.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:52 AM   #26
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I am in the unique position of being the recipient of benefits of both CSRS (now) and then FERS (eligible for my own deferred pension under MRA+10 rules in 6 years).
I was a FERS employee from day one. My LH was a CSRS employee from day one. I am looking at the CSRS system strictly as a survivor annuitant.
My overall impression is the FERS system carries more flexibility for the person who is not planning to be a lifetime civil servant, after the magical 10 year mark of full retirement vesting. The real tie-breaker - TSP. My contributions (set at the maximum for 18+ years) gave me an agency match of the equivalent of 1 year of my high 3 salary. FERS rules allowed me to FIRE when I had enough.
The CSRS is much better for the person who willingly trades off the inflexibility of remaining a lifetime employee (the golden handcuffs), for the higher pension with full COLAs.

IMHO, Khan obviously made the right choice to change to the flexibility of FERS.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:47 PM   #27
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I started working for the feds in 1993, so had no choice and was placed in FERS.
I would choose CSRS if I could, tho. This is from the perspective of someone planning to be a career gov't worker and retire with the pension.
You can still max out the TSP under CSRS (you just don't get the match) as well as other IRA/ROTH options. And you get the sweet CSRS pension...
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