Experienced Advisors Specializing in Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
At Clarity Capital Management, we provide financial and retirement planning support to FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System) and CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) employees who are at any stage of their career. Our team of experienced advisors specializing in FERS also conducts federal benefit seminars for federal employees around the Northwestern part of the United States. Over the past 10 years, our financial advisors have taught over a hundred seminars to thousands of federal employees in 10 different states.
The Importance of Consulting with Experienced Advisors
Washington is one of the top states with the highest number of federal employees who are an extremely diverse and highly educated workforce that is aging, with the average federal employee being just over 47 years old (U.S. Office of Personnel Management). Consequently, we believe it is vital to provide our state’s federal employees with customized retirement planning that will work towards helping them achieve their retirement goals.
Experience Does Matter
We are very familiar with what the retirement system can offer so we are able to help federal employees work towards maximizing their benefits. The FERS Retirement benefit plan is comprised of three major retirement income sources: The FERS Defined benefit pension, the FERS supplement or Social security Supplement, and the TSP. Financial advisors with experience and knowledge of these components can help Federal employees develop a retirement plan that will offer them an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their labor.
The Significance of Understanding Your FERS Survivor Benefit
Our team of knowledgeable financial and retirement advisors believe that it is extremely important that FERS employees are aware that making a decision on their survivor benefit for their FERS annuity is not a decision which should be taken likely. For most annuitants this is a decision which will be irrevocable to them and could significantly impact their survivor benefit expenses throughout their lifetimes.
The Three FERS Survivor Pension Choices
One of the major choices FERS employees need to make is what type of survivor benefit to choose going into retirement. They have three choices on their FERS survivor pension:
- No survivor benefit which is 0% and has no cost.
- Partial survivor benefit which is 25% and the cost is 5% per month from the gross FERS pension amount.
- Full FERS survivor benefit of 50% which will cost 10% per month from the FERS pension.
Your survivor pension choice is not a decision you need to write down on your retirement paperwork until you are ready to retire and fill it out on the application, however you should have mentally made the decision long before your retirement application.
One vital fact to keep in mind if you are planning on choosing no survivor benefit when your survivor is depending on your Federal Health care post retirement. If you choose no survivor benefit and you pass before they do, you have disinherited them from the health care benefits. Consequently, you need to be very cautious and consult a financial professional regarding your benefits in order to make informed decisions.
Matt Bumstead and his team conduct Federal Benefit seminars to federal employees around the northwest. Matt is the President and CEO of Clarity Capital Management and has been working in the industry since 2003. Partnered with the Livingston Financial Group, Matt and his team cover the Northwest region of the United States including Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii.
The retirement seminars are geared toward FERS employees (also some sessions for CSRS employees) who are at any stage of their career. The seminars for FERS employees are further broken down into specific sessions for special provision employees. Special provision employees include law enforcement, air traffic controllers and firefighters. We also conduct a seminar called “Exit Strategies”.
The FERS Retirement Seminars Cover:
- The retirement system itself (eligibility, calculations, benefits, etc.)
- FEGLI (Federal Employees Group Life Insurance)
- FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits)
- TSP (Thrift Savings Plan – the Federal government’s 401K)
- Survivor Benefits
- Social Security
- Long-Term Care
During the seminars some basic considerations are discussed such as:
- What kind of retirement do you want?
- When do you want to retire?
- How long will retirement last?
The bulk of the seminars cover the initial topics listed, and we plan for 3-hour sessions.
We typically do separate seminars for the special provision employees because there are some differences between their retirement calculations and that of regular FERS employees therefore with a mixed group it can get confusing.
Exit Strategies Seminars
The Exit Strategies seminars cover many of the same topics as the retirement seminars. However, they are geared toward federal employees who are within 12 months of retirement and need help with transitioning to retirement.
Some of the topics covered are:
- What to do with your TSP funds (withdrawal options)
- What options to select for FEGLI
- Social security
- Personal savings/investments/life insurance
These seminars also last roughly 3 hours.