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Vol 2, Issue 8 August 2010
Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends as an informative tool for retirement planning!
Federal Employee Retirement System
This month's column discusses issues for Federal Employees under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).

For 3 months starting September 2010, we will discuss issues regarding health insurance and Medicare.

Read on for more details.

It's YOUR retirement. Stay informed,

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Temp Time Buy Back
FERS employees have always been able to buy back temporary time (FERS was not deducted from your pay check) if it occurred before January 1st, 1989. The one exception is for Peace Corp volunteers.

Time served in the Peace Corp for any period, including January 1st, 1989 or later can be credited. This is called "Deposit Service". The fee is 0.8% of your pay during the period worked plus a very interest rate based on the unpaid balance as of December 31st of each year. This year the rate is 3.125%. I would get credit for all temporary time. If I owed a balance, I would not pay at this point because of the low interest rate.

FERS employees have been calling me believing that service after 1988 as a temp is now creditable. This is not correct. Legislation may be introduced after the midterm Congressional election, but nothing is close to fruition at this point. You can pay the Deposit up until the day your final retirement papers are processed by the Office of Personnel Management.
More Changes to FERS Benefits
Other changes have occurred. If you worked as a FERS employee and left Federal Service, the money paid into the FERS retirement system was refunded and you were unable to get credit for the period refunded.

If you had more than 5 years and left the service and requested a refund, the credit was lost. In both situations, current Federal Employees can now make a "Redeposit" and get credit for the period lost by the refund.

To find out how much you owe, fill out the Form SF 3107 and submit it to your Human Resources Office (HRO). The form can be obtained at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/sf.asp

Note the form is designed for Deposit Service, but can be used for Redeposit until a new form is issued. Put a note in the file that you are requesting "Redeposit" figures.
Creditable Sick Leave
Sick leave is creditable to increase retirement benefits effective January 2010 at 1/2 the sick leave balance (if you have a 1000 hours of sick leave, your creditable time for computation purposes will be 500 hours). In 2013, the entire sick leave balance will count.
Contact Me With Questions!
Specific information for those of you that attended our seminars is available free of charge. Please contact us at the phone number or email given to you at the session you attended. We also answer text messages sent to the phone number.

You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn (Lloyd Watnik), or follow me on Twitter (@watnik)!

September, October and November will be dedicated to Health Insurance and Medicare, including the relationship of both to TriCare (the retired Military health plan).
What We Do
We have been told that other seminar companies and Federal newsletters do point out "the good deals." We choose not to for several reasons. The most important reason is that our background and resources are in Federal retirement benefits. We are not life insurance, health insurance or mutual fund representatives and we refuse to take referral fees of any kind.

We, too, have noticed what appear to be recommendations in Federal e-mail and hard copy publications on all these issues. In many cases, they even give you an application or an 800 number in the publication or web site.  We have been told that fees are paid and, in fact, the article was written, by the offering party. BE CAREFUL!!!   Do your homework.

We sell nothing other than our course. We do not accept referral fees. Our goal is to help Federal Employees have a successful retirement. We allow our students to call us about Federal benefits any time after taking the course without charge.

Thank you for reading!
Lloyd D. Watnik Government Benefits Consulting

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