Surviving & thriving in Uncle Sam’s alphabet-soup programs

Part of being a federal worker is both surviving and thriving in Uncle Sam’s nearly one dozen alphabet-soup benefit programs. Can you rattle them off? So you know what they stand for, what they cost and what they mean to you both on the job and every day you spend in retirement? Consider.

CSRS, FERS, SSA, TSP, FEHBP, FEGLI, FLTCIP. FSAFEDS or FEDVIP. Even regular watchers of the big bucks Jeopardy quiz show would likely stumble on a couple of them. Unless they hang around with Tammy Flanagan. She writes a column for Government Executive, works with the National Institute of Transition Planning (aka NIJTP) and knows the federal benefits program like nobody else. Up to and including yours truly.

The government has several retirement programs. It has its own 401(k) plan. Then there is life insurance, long-term care insurance and more. Some people are only in one or two. Some belong to eight or 10. So what do they do? How much do they cost? What are your odds of ever needing at least one of them (Clue: What is 100 percent)? And how do you know?

Today we find out. Tammy is going to be our guest on our Your Turn radio show. It’s 10 a.m. EDT and, if you are stuck at home telecommuting or at the office, listen here on our website. Tammy will talk about all the programs and give you specific tips on which one’s are a must for you. And as a bonus, she’ll talk about the best date (or dates, because there is more than one) to retire in 2017.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The highest barometric pressure ever recorded was 1083.8mb (32 in) at Agata, Siberia, Russia, on Dec. 31, 1968.

Source: Guinness World Records

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Dec 03, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2215 -0.0408 4.32%
L 2025 11.9963 -0.0431 7.70%
L 2030 42.3804 -0.2118 9.58%
L 2035 12.7320 -0.0701 10.38%
L 2040 48.1934 -0.2912 11.19%
L 2045 13.2040 -0.0861 11.85%
L 2050 28.9321 -0.2026 12.55%
L 2055 14.2261 -0.1257 15.21%
L 2060 14.2261 -0.1257 15.21%
L 2065 14.2260 -0.1257 15.20%
G Fund 16.7177 0.0007 1.26%
F Fund 21.0261 0.08 -1.14%
C Fund 68.4493 -0.5796 23.16%
S Fund 80.7041 -1.887 11.80%
I Fund 37.7230 -0.1338 6.04%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.