Round up the usual suspects! Does that include your annuity?

Almost every year for the past decade presidents and other politicians go after the two major federal retirement programs, the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Civil Service Retirement System. The round-up-the-usual suspects exercise is aimed at multi-billion savings by trimming civil service benefits, cutting or eliminating cost of living adjustments and forcing feds to kick in more for their retirement. So far, groups representing workers and retirees have managed to beat back the changes — but there have been some close calls.  Today’s guest columnist is a Philadelphia-based fed, who like many others, is tired of politicians going after the crucial programs. Here’s what he had to say:

*This is effectually an open letter to the House of Representatives and Senators*

Mike likes to call them the usual suspects, the Dirty 5 retirement age for FERS was one year (56 with 30 years) more than the minimum retirement age for CSRS (55 with 25 years).  The only problem was that you can’t take Social Security at 56, so the supplement was created based on your federal employment only.  This is especially important for federal law officers and others that have to retire early.  It is unconscionable to even think about taking it away, either before people take it, or worse if it is taken back after it was given.

I personally started after the point in time when there was only one retirement plan, which became CSRS, and the only thing know at the time is that the new system would include Social Security, so I that was taken out of my pay, along with some amount of for the CSRS system.  By the time the Thrift Savings Plan came in to being, I was fully vested, the C, S, and I funds didn’t even exist, and when the C fund was available, you had to sign a form that stated you accepted the risk, you could lose money.

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Now, since the President and mostly Republican congress people want to basically want to reduce federal retirement plan down to the private sector plan of Social Security, and a self-funded 401K plan. If that is what they want, the first thing, is that they need to do it to themselves, then they need to make it like the CSRS to FERS split.  Chose a date and make a new retirement plan that is like the private sector system of Social Security and a 401k plan.  Technically since the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) acts like a 401k plan it really isn’t a 401k plan, it is part of the retirement plan with a defined benefit, 401 something other than k, so could it be used as a 401k?  They could call it the SFERS (Screw Federal Employee Retirement System.  With that retirement system in place, the Federal Government would have a hard time hiring, since the initial starting salary for private sector is generally higher to start, but those that choose to start in the government, would have the time to fund their retirement, since they know about it when they start, not have it forced on them midway or later in their career, as some in Congress want to do.

So, if they did that, then CSRS and FERS would be left alone, as they should be. It’s not nice to change the rules on people who are at the midpoint of their career, or later.

-A federal employee in Philadelphia.-

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

The opposite sides of a dice cube will always add up to seven. While the lowest number on a dice is one and the highest is six, those numbers, and the ones in between, will always equal seven when added to the number on the opposite side of the dice. If you take a look, you’ll see that one and six are on opposite sides of the cube (1+6=7), as are two and five (2+5=7), and three and four (3+4=7).

Sources: MSN

 

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