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Old 04-18-2021, 06:54 PM   #1
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Government Retirees

When did you decide to retire? I retired/ left govt service when my pension = my take home. Another poster has me wondering if this scenario is common.

I'll be a dbl dipper in a few years. Not bc I want to. Bc the IRS says so
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:19 PM   #2
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I retired from the feds when my job ended seven years ago, and I went out on a Discontinued Service Retirement ("DSR") at the age of 52. My pension is only 22ish percent of my final gross salary, but my TSP, which I moved to a rollover IRA, has doubled in the last 7 years.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:33 PM   #3
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Did you retired under CSRS? That probably is a common scenario for those that retired under CSRS but not for those who retired under FERS. The FERS pension isn't meant to be the sole source of retirement income, TSP and SS are a big part of it. I did a 'deferred' FERS retirement with only 14 years of federal service, just started collecting my small pension last year.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:55 PM   #4
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Actually I converted my pension (county) to a higher value pension so it was underfunded. I was paying 2k month + standard contribution + 27k on retirement but it was a strange time. Had I finished my 5 yr 'repayment' contract I could have retired with 800m more -- but I was happy to leave
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:06 PM   #5
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When did you decide to retire? I retired/ left govt service when my pension = my take home.
My DW will do something like this, but is kind of cheating... by working part time (while accumulating full time service credits) she's dropping her take home pay - making it much easier to reach the point where pension equals pay.

This trick of working part time while getting full service credits is a great gift for the ER crowd if available. While one's salary (and hence, of course, one's savings) are reduced, the opportunity to work PT in the years leading up to retirement makes those last few years much easier to bear.

While not in government service I was able to do the same thing working for Megacorp. I worked 50-80% of FT from age 46 until ER at 55. My pension isn't great (DW's will be significantly larger) but is just as much as if I'd busted my butt full time those last 10 years.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:22 AM   #6
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We were both in the Civil Service Retirement System, and both retired, at different times, at 66% of our high-three salary. CSRS pensions are taxed as regular income, except for a pro-rated portion of the contribution amount. Because we contributed 7% of our pay to CSRS instead of to Social Security, neither of us qualifies for SS.

CSRS employees were not allowed to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan when the TSP first came out. Congress later allowed a 5% contribution and finally the full amount, but CSRS employees do not receive "matching" TSP employer contributions.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:00 AM   #7
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I'm a Local Government Employee and fall under the State retirement system. I have spent 35 years full time on a truck, only 31.5 in the system, but will have 33.5 years of credible service towards my retirement benefit. I was paying heavy into my 401K and realized that my actual take home money would increase in retirement.. Yes I loose my insurance and building the 401K, but FC says we can make it... and I'm tired...
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:01 AM   #8
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I retired at 56 after I reached the 30 years needed for pension eligibility. Retiring early was one of the factors attracting me to civil service at the outset. I liked my work but always looked forward to the paid unemployment. I had carefully run the numbers and concluded DW could retire at the same time and we could comfortably maintain our lifestyle. In the event, DW kept working for several years out of an abundance of caution. My calculation had nothing to do with any arbitrary percentages of salary or take home pay. I did the standard exercise of compiling multiple years of expenses and compared income from pensions and portfolio withdrawals to cover expenses with a significant fudge factor.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:06 AM   #9
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Gayl, I have read this paragraph 3 times, and still have no idea what it says. How do you convert a pension, and are you saying you paid extra money to do this? What was strange about the time?

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Actually I converted my pension (county) to a higher value pension so it was underfunded. I was paying 2k month + standard contribution + 27k on retirement but it was a strange time. Had I finished my 5 yr 'repayment' contract I could have retired with 800m more -- but I was happy to leave
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:17 AM   #10
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I will be retiring some time in the next year or so, when pensions and social security at 62 will cover my expected base expenses in retirement (everything except travel and snowbirding). I estimate that will be about 44% of my high-3 salary. My TSP will cover the travel and snowbirding costs.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:31 AM   #11
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My pension maxes out at 35 years and the earliest age of eligibility is 55. I took 14 months leave without pay 2 months before turning 54. I was allowed to contribute to my pension while I was off. When I turned 55 I went back on strength (on paper only) to use up my few remaining vacation/leave days. Then I retired with just under 35 years of service.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:34 AM   #12
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If I can stick it out that long, as soon as I am eligible for lifetime health insurance.

That's quite a lot of working though. If I'm financially able to retire sooner, I will.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:37 AM   #13
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Retired last May. My take home monthly pension after taxes is 95% of what I was taking home when working.

Several decades ago I bought 5 years of service credit and at retirement unused sick leave was also credited as service time. Ended my career at age 56 with 40 years of service credit.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:40 AM   #14
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Pension?

What's that?
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:44 AM   #15
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Pension?

What's that?
It's what kept many of us at a job we didn't like that much
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:12 AM   #16
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Retired last May. My take home monthly pension after taxes is 95% of what I was taking home when working.

Several decades ago I bought 5 years of service credit and at retirement unused sick leave was also credited as service time. Ended my career at age 56 with 40 years of service credit.
We have a max vacation they pay on separation, anything more rolls into sick time, and that applies to credible service, adding 2 years to my time.

Wife bought 2 years of temp time back... but looked into buying some I had and was 4X as much
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:14 AM   #17
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We could retire at 30 years or early at 55.
My 30 year mark was age 54, but I worked to age 60 for medical insurance to 65, not free, but pretty darn close.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:22 AM   #18
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I left work at 53, retired (became eligible for benefits) at 55.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:39 AM   #19
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DH and I retired last November. He worked for the state starting at 21yo. He could have retired as early as 50 with 90% of his pay. He stayed an extra 2 years because he loved his job. No extra earnings on pension just extra contributions. Lost all his sick time as service credits since he exceeded his 30 years of work.

Turns out no longer contributing to his pension makes the pension check bigger than his paycheck while working. We are down an income since I retired with him. We do have full medical dental and vision until Medicare . He’s 53 I am 54 life is good.

When anyone whines about his pension his response is “I chose well”. DH grew up poor . Ten people living in a 2 bed house. He slept on the floor beneath the pull out couch poor. He chose a career specifically for a pension. Turns out he loved the job and they loved him.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:40 AM   #20
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I also got a year's sick leave credit toward my pension, which allowed me to retire a year earlier and still get the 66%. The high-3 wasn't as high as I'd expected, owing to a 3-year freeze on Federal pay, but I was done.
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