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Veterans Affairs Employee Retirement Benefits

Enroll In Or Change Federal Benefits

Overview of VA pension benefits and how to apply | VA.gov
  • If you are a current employee, you can only enroll in or change your federal employee benefits during the annual Open Season.
  • You may enroll in or change your plans outside Open Season only if you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage.
  • New employees can enroll in benefits outside of Open Season.
  • Open Season does not include FEGLI. Outside of FEGLI’s infrequent open seasons, you can enroll or increase your coverage if:
  • You take a physical exam or
  • You have a qualifying life event
  • Learn more about enrolling in, changing, or canceling FEGLI benefits.

    How To Calculate Veterans Pension

    Your yearly family income must be less than the amount set by Congress to qualify for the Veterans Pension benefit. If eligible, your pension benefit is the difference between your countable income and the annual pension limit set by Congress. VA generally pays this difference in 12 equal monthly payments.

    What Is The Fers Retirement Pension

    FERS stands for Federal Employees Retirement System. It covers most civilian Federal government employees, and provides a pension annuity after you retire from your job. This pension is referred to as the FERS Basic Benefit.

    It is one part of the federal retirement plan, which also includes Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan for government employees).

    While the latter 2 components contribute to your overall retirement, the main goal of this article is to help you understand and calculate the FERS Basic Benefit .

    One of the main benefits of working for the government is that they still offer a pension AND contribute to a defined-contribution plan like the Thrift Savings Plan. If I could start my career all over again, I would seriously consider looking for a federal government job. While the pay may not quite match up with the private sector, the benefits are unparalleled.

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    Va Pension Rates For Veterans

    Review current VA pension rates for Veterans, including VA Aid and Attendance rates. If you qualify for these benefits, well base your payment amount on the difference between your countable income and a limit that Congress sets .

    • Your countable income is how much you earn, including your Social Security benefits, investment and retirement payments, and any income your dependents receive. Some expenses, like non-reimbursable medical expenses , may reduce your countable income.

    • Your MAPR amount is the maximum amount of pension payable. Your MAPR is based on how many dependents you have, if youre married to another Veteran who qualifies for a pension, and if your disabilities qualify you for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits. MAPRs are adjusted each year for cost-of-living increases. You can find your current MAPR amount using the tables below.

    Example: Youre a qualified Veteran with a dependent, non-Veteran spouse and no children. You also qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits based on your disabilities. You and your spouse have a combined yearly income of $10,000.Your MAPR amount = $31,714Your VA pension = $21,714 for the year

    Can I Collect Fers And Social Security At The Same Time

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs search results

    Yes, when you retire you will receive both a federal pension benefit AND a Social Security benefit. Prior to 1984, federal employees participated in the Civil Service Retirement System that replaced their Social Security benefit. But after FERS was introduced in 1984, federal employees were part of the Social Security system and paid into it via payroll taxes like everyone else.

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    Income And Net Worth Limitations

    Countable income includes income from most sources as well as from any eligible dependents. It generally includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividend payments from annuities, and net income from farming or a business. Some expenses, such as unreimbursed medical expenses, may reduce your countable income.

    Net worth is the sum of a claimants or beneficiarys assets and annual income. You should report all of your net worth. For purposes of entitlement to VA pension, the net worth limit effective December 1, 2018 is $127,061.

    Qualifying For Military Benefits

    Military veterans may be eligible for tax-free monthly monetary benefits based on their current circumstances, discharge conditions and record of service. While the U.S. Department of Defense offers a variety of benefits to meet health and income needs, three of the most common are disability, veterans and retirement pensions.

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    Federal Student Loan Repayment Program

    Agencies participating in the Federal Student Loan Repayment program may award $10,000 a year, up to a total of $60,000, toward the payment of student loans. In return, employees must work at that agency for at least three years.

    All 15 Cabinet-level departments, and more than 20 independent agencies, participate in the program. Many agencies specify the types of degrees that qualify for the student loan program, tailoring their recruitment plans to attract highly qualified candidates for hard-to-fill positions.

    The most common educational loans that qualify for repayment include:

    People interested in federal jobs should contact individual agencies to learn more about their loan repayment programs, or check for information on agency websites.

    What Is The Minimum Retirement Age For Fers

    VA Pensions for Surviving Spouses | VA Benefits for Veterans’ Wives & Husbands | theSITREP

    The short answer is, it depends. Your Minimum Retirement Age is between 55 and 57 depending on when you were born. With 30 years of service, you can retire at your MRA with full benefits. With 10 years of service you can retire at your MRA with reduced benefits.

    There are an additional 2 scenarios that do not depend on your MRA: you can retire at age 62 with 5 years of service, or at age 60 with 20 years of service.

    For more detail, see the Minimum Retirement Age section above. The age you retire also factors in to the FERS retirement calculator.

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    Retiree Benefits Identification Card

    When you retire OPM should send you a Retirement Services Reference Card. Most retirees that Ive talked to never receive one. To receive your card call OPM at 1-888-767-6738. I called and received my card in 5 days. Your annuitant claim number and OPM contact information is printed on the back. You can use this card to receive certain discounts and DOD retirees are able to book stays at military resorts with this card.

    Hypothetical Example Va Pension Benefit Calculation

    Your pension is calculated to be an amount equal to the difference between your countable family income and the annual pension limit set by Congress.

    • If, for example, the annual income limit on December 1, 2005, for a Veteran and spouse, as set by Congress, is $13,855 and your income combined with your spouse’s income is $10,855, your VA pension will be $3,000 paid in monthly installments.
    • If your total countable family income is more than $13,855 in this example, then you are not eligible for a VA Pension for that year. You may reapply again at any time your countable income falls below the limit.
    • A portion of your unreimbursed medical expenses may reduce your countable income. Using the example above for combined family income :
    • If your medical expenses for a year are $8,000 and your medical insurance pays $6,400 of that, your unreimbursed medical expense is $1,600.
    • That portion of your unreimbursed medical expenses which is more than 5% of the maximum rate of pension, or $693 in this example , may be deducted from your total combined income which then increases the amount VA will pay to you.
    • Since the $1,600 out of pocket expenses is greater than $693, you may reduce your family income by $907 . So, your income for VA pension purposes is now $9,948 .
    • Your VA pension would then be $13,855 minus $9,948 , or $3,907 for that year.

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    Federal Employees Pay Social Security Taxes

    All federal employees hired in 1984 or later pay Social Security taxes. This includes the president, the vice president, and members of Congress. It also includes federal judges and most political appointees.

    They all pay the same amount of Social Security taxes as people working in the private sector.

    Fers Service Credit Payment

    What Is the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and How Does It ...

    What is Redeposit Service?

    If you leave Federal service for more than 30 days, you may request and receive a refund of the retirement contributions you have paid into the FERS retirement system. When you receive this refund the period of service represented by the refund is now called Redeposit Service.

    Who can make a Redeposit?

    A FERS employee who receives a refund of FERS retirement contributions may not make a redeposit. A FERS employee who receives a refund of Civil Service Retirement System , CSRS Interim, or CSRS Offset retirement contributions may make a redeposit, but only under certain conditions.

    • If you applied for the refund of CSRS, CSRS Interim, or CSRS Offset contributions prior to automatic coverage or transfer to FERS, you may make a redeposit.
    • An employee who transfers to FERS with eligibility for a CSRS annuity component may make a redeposit for CSRS service that is included in the CSRS annuity component.
    • If you do not have a CSRS annuity component, you may make a redeposit for SRS/CSRS Offset service only if you applied for the refund of contributions before you transferred or became covered by FERS. FERS redeposit rules apply.

    Why make a Redeposit?

    Who are employees with a CSRS annuity component?

    You will have a CSRS annuity component if you elected to transfer to FERS and you had at least five years of creditable civilian service under CSRS and/or FICA prior to electing FERS.

    How much will it cost?

    How much is the interest?

    How to make a deposit?

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    How Is Fers High

    Your High-3 average salary is the highest annual salary that results from averaging your base pay over any three consecutive years of service. For most federal employees, this would be the 3 year period immediately preceding retirement, but it could conceivably be any consecutive 3 years of service .

    Base Access For Commissary Bx/px And Other Needs

    Military retirees and their immediate family members qualify for base access with their official, unexpired retiree ID cards issued by the DoD. You will need to apply for ID cards for yourself and your family via your base or installation Pass & ID office or similar on-base service provider.

    These ID cards allow entry to the base, the use of the commissary and Base Exchange/Post Exchange and any available medical services on post. Not all bases have the same services or access for retirees. Your options for on-base services may also include base pharmacies, fitness centers, golf courses and other recreational offerings.

    Retiree access also includes perks such as being welcome at certain Morale, Welfare, And Recreation facilities, like RV parks and camping areas.

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    Fdic Money Smart Program

    Computer-Based InstructionThe Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction is a friendly and easy to use learning tool that teaches the 10 modules of the Money Smart curriculum through a computer. The CBI can complement formal classes or enable people to study independently at their own pace. The CBI is for users age 13 and over.

    Each module generally takes between 20-30 minutes to complete. Students receive ongoing feedback and, upon successful completion of each module, can print out a personalized certificate of completion.

    The CBI is available online or on CD-ROM. The following links allow you to access the online CBI version of Money Smart.

    If your computer does not meet the minimum requirements * or you have difficulty accessing the online web version, you may Order the Money Smart CBI on CD-ROM *.

    For answers to questions such as minimum computer requirements for using the Money Smart CBI, refer to Frequently Asked Questions *.

    For the best experience of the FDIC Money Smart CBI, please make sure you have the latest version of the Adobe Flash player installed on your computer. The latest version of Adobe Flash Player can be downloaded at *. Installation questions or troubleshooting help can be found at *. If you are accessing the CBI from a slow Internet connection, the application may experience brief delays in responding.

    Retirement And Disability Pay

    Enhanced Pension Benefits

    When contemplating military retirement, the benefit most people think of first is retirement pay. There are many different types of retirement pay, including:

    • Regular and Reserve retirement payments.
    • Temporary and permanent disability retirement payments.
    • Concurrent retirement and disability pay.
    • Combat-related special compensation payments.
    • Survivor Benefit Plan payments.

    Some retirement pay is designated as temporary and some is not. The amount of retirement pay you draw will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you are an officer or enlisted at retirement time, which retirement plan you opted into and how long you served.

    Retirement pay isnt the only option for those who have spent the minimum time in service to retire. VA disability pay is also an option in a variety of circumstances:

    • Additional benefits for Veterans injured while in the service.
    • Ratings for service-connected disability codes.
    • Ratings for special monthly compensation.
    • Individual unemployment ratings.
    • Rerating you if you feel your disability has increased.

    Retired veterans may have to choose between disability pay and retirement pay. Youll want to ask your transition assistance counselor or VA rep about the advantages of choosing one over the other depending on your personal circumstances.

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    Retirement And Financial Literacy Education Program

    Welcome to the Department of Veterans AffairsRetirement Financial Literacy and Education Program Website!

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Retirement Financial Literacy and Education Website is designed to provide tools to Federal employees to assist in achieving their future retirement and financial goals. This website provides financial information and tools to educate employees and their family members and emphasizes the importance of budgeting, saving, and planning for retirement. The financial security employees and their family members have in the future depend, in part, on the knowledge they gather and make use of today. Acting now and taking the necessary steps toward planning for your future will help you reach your financial and retirement goals. Employees should take full advantage of attending the financial education workshops, handouts, fairs, etc., that are provided by their Human Resources office. VA’s program strategy considers financial literacy education as a career-long process and incorporates a broad range of information and tools employees will need to be aware of and understand in order to make informed retirement planning decisions throughout their careers. Please click on the tabs above to view the latest information regarding VA’s Retirement Financial Literacy and Education Program.

    VA’s Goal – Provide Educational Tools to Assist Employees in Achieving their Retirement and Financial Dreams.

    Agency And Employee Responsibility

    The following provides important information that defines the different responsibilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs and VA employees on the Retirement Financial Literacy and Education Program.

    Agency Responsibility… Employing agencies have the primary responsibility for the delivery of retirement financial education to their employees and for supporting financial literacy. The Thrift Savings Plan Open Elections Act of 2004 required the Office of Personnel Management to develop and implement a retirement financial literacy and education strategy for Federal employees as part of the retirement training offered by OPM under 5 U.S.C. 8350. The implementation of the strategy must educate Federal employees on the need for retirement savings and investment, and must provide information on how to plan for retirement and how to calculate the retirement investment needed to meet their retirement goals.

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    Federal Employee Retirement System

    Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System in 1986, and it became effective on January 1, 1987. Since that time, new Federal civilian employees who have retirement coverage are covered by FERS.

    FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan . Two of the three parts of FERS can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. Your agency withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security from your pay as payroll deductions. Your agency pays its part too. Then, after you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.

    The TSP part of FERS is an account that your agency automatically sets up for you. Each pay period your agency deposits into your account amount equal to 1% of the basic pay you earn for the pay period. You can also make your own contributions to your TSP account and your agency will also make an additional matching contribution up to 4%. These contributions are tax-deferred. The Thrift Savings Plan is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

    Service Requirements for Unreduced Benefits

    *minimum 5 years of creditable civilian service is required

    Service Requirement for Reduced Benefits

    • 10 years of creditable svc and retire at MRA
    • Permanent reduction in annuity

    Veterans Affairs Pension Eligibility

    Apply for Pension

    A Veterans Affairs pension is a monthly cash benefit that helps retired or disabled veterans. In order to qualify, you must be either over 65 or be totally and permanently disabled. Totally and permanently disabled means you have a non-service related injury or disease that is totally incapacitating and is likely to last your entire life. This means that your mind or body is so impaired that it is impossible for you to maintain employment. Additionally, you must have low income and little assets, and you must have served 90 days in the military, including one day of service during wartime.

    Additional monetary supplements to the VA pension are available where a veteran is either Homebound or requires Aid and Attendance . The Homebound Benefit gives you additional cash income if you are mostly confined to your home due to your disabilities. The A& A Benefit provides additional income if you need assistance with at least some of your daily living, even if that assistance is provided by a family member. You can also receive A& A if you are blind or almost blind or live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. You can receive either Homebound Benefits or A& A, but not both.

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