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Old 10-09-2011, 06:44 PM   #41
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I'm a CSRS'r who does contribute the max to my TSP, including the over-50 catch-up amount. However, I wasn't doing that before I found this site and the light bulb went came on in my head. I was contributing some, but not as much as I could or should have. It took me finding you folks to bring me to my senses. Unfortunately, Mr. stock market isn't going to allow me to reach my previous desired goal, if I retire on time, but at least I won't go out empty handed. Also, I won't have any trouble getting by for awhile if it takes OPM some additional time finalizing my pension. I'll be fine, and I know I'll get any missed pay reimbursed to me when they finally do get it straightened out.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:39 PM   #42
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I retired with CSRS pension. I started as a GS-2 step 1 temporary not to exceed 90 days and retired 32 yrs and 8 mos later as a GS-11. I took an early retirement at age 53 and have not regretted it. I always contributed the max including the over age 50 extra, but there was not a TSP when I first started working many years ago. We were also limited to 5% max contributions for a long time. The federal gov never put 1 cent into my TSP. I am very grateful for my career with the fed gov and also for my pension.

It did not bother me to wait for my pension from OPM, but I did find it ironic that we had lists for the retirement claims that we took and pressure was high to get the claims cleared within 10 days and it was really bad if a claim was over 30 days. However, when we retired we had to wait months for our pension. I had heard the typical horror stories about OPM and waiting for your pension to start and was pleasantly surprised when I received my check. I don't remember now how long it took, but it was faster than I thought it would be.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:52 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Is that how it works, even under CSRS? It takes several months for the pension to kick in after retirement?

Okay, now *that* I find just plain sad.
Used to. When I retired, I received an estimated check ~2 months along; after another month or 2, received pension check with adjustments for previous several months (original was pretty close).
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:55 PM   #44
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Hmmm, I think there are far too many generalizations about the federal civilian workforce here. Let me add a few other dubious ones. I would expect many higher-graded employees to stay well beyond initial eligibity to retire because many of these managers might really like their jobs and the feeling of authority or power they might have over programs they're responsible for implementing. But there are some positions in the federal workforce that call for mandatory retirement at certain ages (I believe this is the case for law enforcement positions or air traffic controllers). There are some agencies where most employees there actually like their work (NRC is typically rated the best federal workplace) and other agencies where most employees are challenged to work there (the Postal Service), so I bet most retirement eligible employees stay a few years beyond initial eligibility at NRC and others at the Postal Service head for the retirement hills as soon as eligible.

I don't know whether the anecdotal evidence of CSRS employees not participating in TSP is suported by any real hard data. It's been my observation that higher-graded employees generally have higher contribution rates than lower graded-employees and I think this cuts across CSRS and FERS employees.

I think you will see a major run to the retirement hills in many agencies the next few years for the following generalized observations: (1) FERS employees will have all of their sick leave counted for retirement service credit purposes in January 2014 so many of these employees sitting on a year of sick leave creditable in 2014 will wait until then; (2) on top of the recently legislated freeze on pay, there's a strong likelihood that Congress and the Administration (who ever that might be in 2012 and beyond) will pass additional legislation that will pare down retirement and health benefits such as the "high-5" proposals on annuity pension/annuity calculations; (3) many retirement eligible employees are hanging on for the next "buy-out" they think is around the corner; and (4) the federal workforce has many older workers and many of the old folks are really at the KMA stage of their careers -- they are literally 3 bad days from retirement, which will probably coincide when new pension reforms like the "high-5" is legislated.

I think there will be a tsunami in the next few years.
I don't suppose that will be retroactive?
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #45
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Khan...Your EX will retire with about 80 to 82 percent of salary. Adding sick leave will push the retirement above 80 percent. That's pretty good...a 13...step 10...makes around $106,000.
Under CSRS you start losing money after 40 years.

BTW his wife is a few years younger and a GM-15
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:20 PM   #46
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I don't suppose that will be retroactive?
It would take another Act of Congress for that to happen. The answer for now is "no" and it's likely to be forever "no" for people who have retired before January 1, 2014. I think if you retired between Oct 2009 and December 31, 2013, existing legislation permits a credit of 50 percent of sick leave for annuity purposes for FERS employees.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:24 PM   #47
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CSRS pension actually maxes out at 41 yrs, 11 months, at 80% of hi-three average. Any sick leave is added on top of that. A year's worth of saved up sick leave would add 2% on top of the 80%. If a person continues to work beyond the 41 yrs, 11 months, they will still pay 7% into the CSRS pension fund, but when they retire, they will get a refund of the overage, with interest, I BELIEVE. Had to emphasize the "I believe" part, since I'm not actually at the point where I've experienced that particular situation, but from what I've read that's what happens. Also...even though the CSRS'er no longer accumulates the 2% per year thing after they hit the 80% max, they do still (normally) get the annual pay increases, which still would serve to increase their hi-three average, which would in turn increase their pension. Of course, we're currently under a 2 year pay freeze...

Personally, I'll never see the 80% pension, since I'll be retiring at around 36 yrs right after the first part of 2013. Also, although I'm a GS-11, I'm only a step 5 out of 10 steps of GS-11, so I'm not nearly maxed out in my grade. If I wasn't expecting to receive a military retirement starting at age 60, I'm not sure I'd feel confident enough to retire in 2013. I might have to work 2 - 4 more years just to sweeten the pot a little. GS-11 step 5 retirement isn't all that much, after deductions for taxes, insurance etc. If wifey wasn't planning to continue working for 3 yrs after my retirement, it might be less attractive too.
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