March 10

Coffee with Mike- The Lifetime Benefits of FERS

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Here's a cool thing about the FERS system: everyone talks about FERS as if it has to be a lifetime career in order for you to get anything out of it. That is completely wrong. We can get lifetime benefits out of FERS no matter how long we stay. We can get lifetime benefits out of it, and take them with us when we go to a non-federal career. When we go back to the private sector, or when we go to the state government sector, or wherever we might go, FERS system offers you the opportunity to participate in certain benefits that can become lifetime benefits, regardless of how long you actually stay. That is awesome, right?

Now I'm not saying it's limitless, but I'm saying it's not as limited as other people would have you believe. What the website is for is to help you distinguish which benefits are which; what are the timelines; when do I get to keep them for a lifetime; what do I have to do to participate; how much do I have to participate; and is it something that's really valuable to me?


If we can take a look at those benefits in that way and with that perspective, and understanding what kind of commitment we need to make, not only in terms of time, but also in terms of money, and then decide, 'is that really important to me?' If it is, then we have a chance to make it a lifetime benefit, even with just a little bit of time. If it isn't important to us, then we have a chance to save our money and save our energy, and not get involved in it at all. 

"...FERS system offers you the opportunity to participate in certain benefits that can become lifetime benefits, regardless of how long you actually stay."

The point is here, for some of you, a career as a federal employee, a lifetime career is not in the bag for you, it's not something you want. But lifetime benefits should be something you can consider, because it's something you can have even if you don't make FERS your lifetime career. That's what the website is for. So go to allaboutfers.com take a look at it, sign up for our newsletter, and find out how you can make best use of these benefits and get out of it what you want out of it, for the length of time you want to put into it. I guarantee you, going to the website and learning more about it is going to help you understand that opportunity better.

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