A bounty of retirement concerns

A Reader Writes:

Is there ever a reduction in Social Security benefits paid to a Federal Employees Retirement System retiree?

Milt Replies:

Whether or not you are a FERS retiree, if you work after you start receiving Social Security benefits and are under age 65, the amount of money you earn by working can reduce your Social Security benefits.

Earnings from savings, most investments and insurance will not affect your Social Security benefit.

A Reader Writes:

I'm a FERS employee and will be eligible to retire in about six years. Now that the "catch-up" bill has been signed into law for FERS employees, would it be wise to remove funds from other investments to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), or would it be better to keep them where they are and not contribute to the "catch-up" option?

Milt Replies:

If your other investments are not in tax-deferred accounts, it would pay because your TSP account is tax-deferred. However, be careful not to take money out of an investment that's doing very well and put it into a Thrift Savings Plan account that's performing poorly.

Your best bet is to put fresh money into the G fund (the TSP's Government Securities Investment Fund).

A Reader Writes:

I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee who recently retired after 32 years. To whom can we retirees write to say that we want to have the costs of our Federal Employees Health Benefits plan deducted pretax from our annuities, like active federal workers?

Milt Replies:

You should write to the representative and senators for your state in Congress.

Zall is a retired federal employee who since 1987 has written the Bureaucratus column for Federal Computer Week. He can be reached at milt.zall@verizon.net.

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