Category Archives: Government Benefits

Services for Federal Employees

Attention Federal Employees:

Did you know that three of our deaf financial advisors have received specialized training in federal employee benefits? They each have obtained the Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBCSM) designation after completing extensive training courses giving them the knowledge needed to advise federal employees on their benefits. Some examples of the services we can provide are:

– Reviewing your existing elections as well as other options that may be available to help maximize your benefits according to your specific needs

– Explain the difference between the TSP fund options and how they operate and assist in choosing TSP allocations to fit your risk tolerance, objectives, and time horizon

– Assisting with completing the Federal retirement forms booklet for those who are ready to submit their retirement application including:

        – Explaining the CSRS/FERS retirement pension benefit elections and assisting in determining which option would best fit your needs

        – Explaining the FEGLI life insurance options (no reduction, 50% reduction 75% reduction) and assisting in determining which option would best fit your needs

We do not charge for federal employee benefits consultations. Being a full-service financial planning firm, we may make recommendations to fill any gaps in coverage with other products or services that may have other costs associated with them. For example, if you have already maximized your federal life insurance benefits and it is determined that the amount of coverage is still not sufficient, we may make a recommendation to purchase additional private insurance which would have a cost associated with the premiums. However, there is no obligation to follow those recommendations and we still do not charge for the consultations.

Whether you recently joined Federal service and want to learn more about the benefits available to you, or if you are ready to retire, or anywhere in between, we are here to help give a thorough understanding of your benefits as well as strategies for maximizing them. If you are interested, please contact us.

Social Security and Medicare Numbers for 2014

New figures announced

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive a 1.5% cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for 2014. According to the SSA’s announcement, after the COLA adjustment, the estimated average retirement benefit will rise from $1,275 in 2013 to $1,294 in 2014.

 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also announced next year’s Medicare costs. The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be $104.90 in 2014, the same as in 2013. However, beneficiaries with higher incomes (individuals with taxable incomes of more than $85,000 and couples with taxable incomes of more than $170,000) will pay more than $104.90 per month because they must pay an income-related surcharge.

 

Other important Social Security and Medicare figures are listed below.

  • The amount of taxable earnings subject to the Social Security tax (called the maximum taxable earnings limit) will increase to $117,000 from $113,700 in 2013.
  • The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount for beneficiaries under full retirement age will increase to $15,480 from $15,120 in 2013. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed the exempt amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the exempt amount.
  • The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount that applies during the year a beneficiary reaches full retirement age will increase to $41,400 from $40,080 in 2013. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed this amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the exempt amount.
  • The amount of earnings needed to earn one Social Security credit will increase to $1,200 from $1,160 in 2013.

  • 2014 Medicare figures

  • The Medicare Part B deductible will be $147, the same as in 2013.
  • The monthly Medicare Part A premium for those who need to buy coverage will cost up to $426, down from $441 in 2013. However, most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
  • The Medicare Part A deductible for inpatient hospitalization will be $1,216, up from $1,184 in 2013.

    Beneficiaries will pay an additional daily co-insurance amount of $304 for days 61 through 90, up from $296 in 2013, and $608 for stays beyond 90 days, up from $592 in 2013.

  • Beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities will pay a daily co-insurance amount of $152 for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period, up from $148 in 2013.
  •  

    Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2013.