Is turning 62 the magic moment for feds?

Most people stop looking forward to birthdays after they first become eligible to drive, or vote. Ask most people what was the best year in their life, their favorite time, when they were at their best and it is usually younger rather than older.

As in, it’s already come and gone!

But that best-year timeline may be different for the majority of still-working federal civil servants under the Federal Employees Retirement System, even if it comes with less hair or more waistline.

Apparently there are good things on the federal career front for folks about to turn age 62. If they are under the FERS program. FERS replaced the old Civil Service Retirement System in the 1980s. And although there still a few CSRS employees around, in most agencies they are as rare as kangaroos in Denmark, at least according to one fed who is happy, career-wise, to be turning 62. Abraham Grungold is an outside-the-Beltway career civil servant who doubles as a financial coach, and he’s one of those rare individuals who says he has good reason to be happy aging in place, especially hitting the magic 62 mark. He writes:

When turning 62 is a great feat for FERS employees

I am turning 62 years of age and I will have 34 years of federal service. This is a great accomplishment for my retirement and here is why:

Turning 62 for a FERS employee is a wonderful pinnacle moment in a federal career. A federal employee with at least 20 years of service who reaches age 62 receives a 10% increase to their annuity. For example, if a FERS employee is age 61 and their FERS annuity is estimated to be $40,000 per year, when they turn to age 62 their estimated annuity automatically becomes $44,000. The federal government is giving me the best birthday gift ever. I get a 10% boost to my retirement every year — forever. Many employees who retire early are unaware of this benefit and unaware that they are leaving this large sum of money behind.

FERS employees have mandatory contributions deducted from their payroll from the first date of hire. Employees are partially paying for their retirement annuity. Working a 30-year career and leaving at age 60, you are leaving a large chunk of your annuity behind because you did not work another two years to age 62.

So why does the government do this? Because in this example, the federal government did not have to pay out the Social Security supplement if you retired at age 60. The supplement would be paid from age 60 to 62. The 10% increase to the annuity at age 62 is a financial incentive for employees to work up to age 62 — that’s right, an incentive.

So before you retire, you need to weigh your financial options. For any questions, you can contact me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Every year in May and June, fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains of Elkmont, Tennessee, flash in sync for about two weeks. It’s such a popular event that the park has a lottery for visitor car passes.

Source: Visit My Smokies

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