Our FERS Progress Report is a tool that summarizes the Income Security that FERS is providing you as a Federal Employee. The REPORT will help you see the FINANCIAL POTENTIAL of your FERS CAREER both NOW and into RETIREMENT.

By answering 14 simple questions, you will receive a comprehensive report tailored specifically to you. Within minutes of your input we'll send the report directly to your email address. (See our FAQ about what materials you'll need to complete the report)

This report will help you see, perhaps for the first time, which options are best for you NOW when choosing benefits, planning your career, or preparing for retirement!


Have you ever felt this way about your

FERS Benefits?? We hear the following frustrations ALL the time!

  • No one's ever explained FERS to me in a meaningful way.
  • I need to understand the financial security that FERS offers me or my family. 
  • I need to know if this career offers me significant financial potential.
  • My spouse wants me to get a higher-paying job. Considering the FERS benefits that mean something to us, how much is my FERS salary and benefits package really worth this year?
  • I don't know where to start in researching and understanding my FERS benefits.
  • I will be unprepared  if I ever become disabled.
  • "Advisor" websites are more about selling products than they are about helping me learn what I need to know.
  • I don't know if I am on track for the financial future I want.
  • I've spent my entire career with 100% of my balance in the G fund.
  • No one told me that FERS employees can purchase active military time or AmeriCorp/VISTA time to increase FERS service credit toward retirement. 

Let's dive into the problem a little deeper...

Questions we hear most are often expressed with deep-seated frustration: "I need answers and I can't find any!" Typically, people are looking for FERS explanations and exceptions, and it's mind-boggling when you find out how much information there is. 

Our job is to know what you're looking for and how to find it!  We sort through the complexity of FERS to get you the answers you need when you need them! And our FERS Progress Report can do that for you!

What we often hear people say:

"There’s so much confusing information online I can't actually find what I’m looking for. I am clicking link after link after link!  I tried to google it and Google can’t find what I’m looking for either! I’m just wasting time doing this on my own. Can you help me?"

FERS regulations are written by attorneys, so your search words and descriptions must be precise. Not: “Can I retire right now?” but “Am I eligible to retire under FERS at age 55 with 23 years of service?” Our report will give you a better idea of the precision you need to find what you want. 

Another concern we hear quite often:

"I’m thinking about leaving FERS.  My income isn't enough to make me feel secure. I think I can make more money elsewhere, but I also don’t want to make a career mistake.  Are there more financial rewards I'm getting than I realize?"

The short answer: Probably. You get basic pay and tax-
free additional compensation.  All of it benefits you.  


The long answer:  Basic pay is what you use to pay your household bills, contribute to TSP, and for whatever else you enjoy in life.  Additional compensation is how FERS guarantees a percentage of your current and future income, and how your agency pays the majority of your health insurance costs and makes meaningful contributions to your TSP balance. Again, this additional compensation is tax-free to you. By doing all this, your FERS career offsers you income security in multiple ways, which hopefully helps you feel more secure.

The most efficient, cost-effective way to create the amount of income security you have right now, and that you could have in the future, is through your FERS benefits, or another government system like it. Because FERS does it by harnessing its ECONOMIC POWER on your behalf!

Here's why: FERS does it by harnessing ECONOMIC POWER on your behalf!

What's Economic Power? It's the FERS contributions of every federal agency and every FERS employee combined with every FERS retiree's use of benefits, which helps all FERS employees and FERS retirees accomplish together what perhaps none of them couldn't accomplish on his or her own.  
FERS economic power
 enables you to become vested in five lifetime benefits in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 10th years of your career, and two significant career-only benefits within the 2nd year of your career.

Early in your career, FERS economic power allows you to shift take-home pay away from retirement and toward everyday needs: paying household bills, building bank savings, and eliminating debt as long as you're contributing 5% of basic pay to your TSP account, so that later in your FERS career, you can maximize your TSP contributions because your everyday needs are taken care of.

Our FERS Progress Report helps you understand and unlock the power of economic certainty that FERS can provide!


Let me tell you about the FERS Progress Report!

The FERS Progress Report includes:

  • The time it takes to get the lifetime benefits with a shorter FERS career 
  • Our guide to "Understanding FERS Retirement"
  • The potential future value of owning FERS benefits for a lifetime
  • What it costs a private sector employer to replicate your current FERS compensation & benefits package
  • DIY decision-making philosophy. 
  • DIY planning suggestions for making FERS career & cash flow decisions
  • DIY planning suggestions for FEGLI, FEHB, & Medicare 
  • DIY planning suggestions for making TSP portfolios and withdrawals    


"No one's ever explained FERS to me in a meaningful way.  I feel like I’m missing out on something, but I don’t know what it is."

- Almost every Federal Employee at some point.

Many federal employees feel like this. No one explained anything in any depth because FERS is a do-it-yourself system for employees, and a hands-off system for HR staff persons, who are prohibited from offering advice to employees. Once you were hired, you heard something like this: “It’s up to you learn FERS and its benefits, and to make your own choices. There are videos to watch. Here’s where you can find them online and anything else you may need. If you’d like, ask other employees what choices they made, but your choices are completely up to you.”  

Our mission at allaboutfers.com is to help you make informed decisions, and the key is to know what an optimal response looks like when illness, disability, or death strikes you or your family. This approach allows you to zero in on specific benefit options in order to make your best choices. Repeat this process each year as needs, circumstances, attitudes, and perspectives will change over time.

Let us help you. We break FERS down into easily digestible pieces placed in the context of how much you make and what you're vested in. We know what you need to read and we provide links if you want to nerd-out on a benefit. The  FERS Progress Report is the best way to get started. 


Here’s What You’ll Get When You Purchase.

The FERS Progress Report will tell you what you need to know about each of the five benefit areas we cover 

Learn everything you need to know about vesting, retirement, pay, & compensation: benefits you already own and other benefits you can own, how much retirement income you’ve earned thus far and how much more you can earn, how it’s protected should you die either as an active FERS employee or as a former FERS employee younger than age 62, what your pay and compensation is, where it is and what it does for you now and in the future.

Vesting, Retirement, Pay, & Compensation Summary

You'll get a summary of the potential for your short-term and long-term disability income protection through your sick leave and annual leave, and the FERS Disability Retirement benefit.  You'll see where you're short on coverage, how to shore it up on your own and/or with additional income protection coverage through federal employee associations or private insurance carriers, and when one type of provider could be better for you than another.*

Short and Long-Term Disability Income Protection Summary

You'll learn about your health insurance coverage with FEHB plans and how to get more cash-effective coverage based on what you and/or your family need from year-to-year. FEHB has no plan option restrictions based on health status or health history, so don't be afraid to make plan changes whenever you need to.  And when you hit age 65, don't assume that Medicare is an automatic choice for you or your spouse. Some circumstances make it to your advantage to not enroll and wait for a while, or never to enroll at all. We tell you how to think through your needs and Medicare's options.

Health Insurance

Coverage with FEHB & Medicare

Everything you need to know about your life insurance coverage through FEGLI and how some costs remain affordable, when other costs become challengingly expensive, and how some of it can turn into free or affordable coverage in retirement.

Learn where to get additional life insurance coverage through your federal employee associations or private insurance carriers, and when one type of provider could be better for you than another.*

FEGLI Life Insurance

Coverage Summary

All you need to know about TSP investments for growth and for withdrawals, and potential highs and lows for career rates of return using the most assertive and most conservative TSP funds and portfolios. Choosing your investment portfolio is made easier when you think about your future need as replicating 100% of your current year basic pay. We help you start that process with your FERS Progress Report. 


TSP Summary

*Mike Lanway or AllAboutFERS.com DO NOT sell any type of insurance, and DO NOT get compensated in any form or fashion for insurance sales.    

And Much More, Personalized For You & Your Career!


Another question we hear often

"I need to know why this is the right career for me NOW, as in today, tomorrow, next week. Are there any present-day reasons to stay in FERS?"

YES!  FERS offers you more than just a future payoff.  FERS is about protecting portions of your income when you’re healthy and working, if you're disabled and can no longer work, once you’ve retired, and even after you’ve died. In each instance, a portion of your income is protected for you or for those you love.

FERS uses the collective resources of all FERS employees, FERS retirees, and federal agencies to provide YOU with income protection benefits for as long as you are a FERS employee or a FERS retiree. FERS takes on the most costly benefits and pays much of them for you, which  frees up more of your net pay! That's the economic power of FERS working for you!

The FERS Progress Report will show you how FERS is working for YOU now!


See what other federal employees have to say...



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The FERS Benefits Report will tell you about...


Lifetime vesting in benefits that matter to you: from TSP accounts and agency matching money to FERS retirement income and survivor benefits to health and life insurance for retirement


FERS retirement income guaranteed by the federal government, the world’s most credible guarantor, with COLAs being available once you've been retired for 12 months and have reached age 62.


Using your current salary or Hi-3, the amount of FERS retirement income you’ve earned at this point in your career, the amount you own once you have at least 5 years of actual FERS service, and an amount you'd have if retired from FERS.


How much you’re paid in four modes: per hour, per pay period, per month, and per year. How to find your scheduled pay increases. The definition of basic pay used for calculating your Hi-3 salary average.


Should you die as an active FERS employee, a percentage of your basic pay plus lump sum cash that goes to your spouse. Monthly income that your minor children may receive, which is offset by Social Security survivor income. Monthly income that your children younger than age 22 may receive as long as they are (1) in enrolled in postsecondary schools and (2) on schedule to graduate, which is not offset by Social Security survivor income. 


Your additional compensation amount is identified: how much it is this year, how your benefit choices influence that amount, and the commitment your agency must make toward funding your retirement  


Short-term disability income protection is determined by your current sick leave and annual leave balances.  Long-term disability income protection is determined by your FERS Disability Retirement benefit.  We have suggested how you can obtain a supplemental disability income policy through federal employee associations if  your protection from FERS is inadequate.


Health insurance coverage through FEHB is briefly described as are our suggestions of how to make cost-effective FEHB plan choices for the upcoming Open Season.


What Medicare Parts A & B are, when to enroll or not enroll in Parts A & B, and why effective Medicare strategies may include the choice of not enrolling in Medicare Part B, with each point described in significant detail.  


Health history and current health status can make FEGLI (life insurance coverage) either cost-effective or too costly. Costs are affordable for FEGLI Basic and Options A & C for many FERS employees, while costs for Option B may become challengingly expensive for those who need coverage and cannot get anywhere else.  Yet there are also reasons not to drop Option B but to tweak its coverage amount, even when it gets incredibly expensive.  


TSP portfolios for growth are usually different from TSP portfolios for withdrawals. Learning the potential highs and lows for every portfolio is crucial to making good decisions and creating realistic expectations. Examples of returns for the most assertive and most conservative TSP funds and portfolios are provided.


Here's another one we hear often

"My spouse wants me to get a higher paying job. I am worn out trying to find the answers my spouse needs. How can we adjust to the income and benefits my FERS career is giving us now? And what will FERS give us in the future?"

This is a common theme in conversations I have with FERS employees who bought into the mission of their agency that they were willing to take a pay cut and said “Yes!”  The thrill dies down when the smaller paychecks start arriving, as stress builds and second-guessing starts. 

In talking with hundreds of spouses, many are still funding retirement accounts and insurance policies that FERS has diminished a need for, but no one told the spouse!

Having that conversation with your spouse about FERS benefit eligibility and vesting opportunities can makes your transition into a FERS position smoother for you and less stress for your spouse.  And our FERS Progress Report is what you can use to have that conversation.


"I don't remember anyone ever telling me that my active military service could be bought as FERS service so I can retire sooner or get more money when I retire!"


"Someone told me my VISTA service couldn't be used for FERS service credit leave or for retirement!  Is it true that if I had known this wasn't correct, I would have had more leave for the last few years?!" 

Active military service and VISTA service should be automatically applied to your FERS Leave SCD to determine the number of annual leave hours you’re eligible for each leave year.  You may also be eligible to purchase that time to apply to your Retirement SCD, so you receive more retirement income and perhaps retire earlier.

"Because of my health, I won't be financially prepared if I become disabled. No one will insure me for disability insurance!"

Your situation is not unusual. Many employees are uninsurable by private company standards for various reasons: health history, health status, prescription history and status. 

FERS is willing to provide you disability income protection regardless of health status or history, without regard to how, when, where, or why a disability happened to you, once you complete 18 months of actual FERS service,

Short-term disability income protection comes from your accumulated sick leave and annual leave hours and by participating in the federal employee leave bank. 

Long-term disability comes from FERS Disability Retirement once you've completed 18 months of actual FERS service. While your application for it is not guaranteed to be approved, approval requirements for a FERS Disability Retirement application is generally more lenient than those for private insurance company policies or for your Social Security disability income benefit. 

There’s a lot more to learn about this benefit, and our FERS Progress Report is the place to start.


FERS Progress Report Bonuses!

We've got a lot of extras that you'll get along with your FERS Progress Report...

CFP® professional suggestions

Our CFP® professional suggestions for making decisions that will lead you to consider your current needs and circumstances. The old saying “common sense requires common experience” tells us that our sense of what looks right and feels right to us changes as we accumulate knowledge from recent experiences.


Our philosophy of decision-making influences our professional suggestions. Why and how to make decisions and revise them by developing a consistent long-term vision and tweaking short-term strategy. Reviewing the last 12 months for how recent experiences influence your perspective, priorities, and goals makes you ready for overcoming adversity and for building personal success. Peace of mind stabilizes when your career and financial priorities are on the right track.


Terms in the report include the distinction between what a person can accomplish on their own versus what a person can accomplish through the economic power of FERS benefits. Before you leave that economic power behind, get your FERS Progress Report and discover how it's working for you now and in the future.


FERS Mile Markers help you decide whether it’s worth remaining in your FERS career for another 1, 3, 5, etc. years. Each Mile Marker is a quick look at the next benefit you'll be vested in (own the right to) for your lifetime. Decide ahead of time whether the next benefit you’ll be vested in is worth staying in FERS for.


Learn what it costs to replicate each benefit in the private sector as a negotiation tool, should you leave FERS prior to retirement. 


An executive summary page of your most important financial values in each of the areas you’re most likely to be concerned about. If all you want are the numbers, this page is for you.

Good decisions are true to yourself: what you think, believe, and value. Good decisions resonate with you because they are consistent with who you are.  Bad decisions do none of those things. All of us have had negative experiences where someone or something led us to make decisions that was inconsistent with who we are. Those experiences cause us to procrastinate when someone or something promises to help us, to help us make good decisions.


We've heard this a time or two

"Suddenly, I’m unsure about having my advisor make decisions for me. Recently I had an appt with another advisor, who said that some of what’s been done may not be in my best interests. I don’t know what to think and I am not sure who I can trust."

It's stressful to not know who to trust, or to have to blindly trust someone. Having open-eyed trust with advisors requires you to accurately evaluate whether they know FERS well enough to make trustworthy recommendations. Evaluating advisors is a primary reason to learn your FERS benefits, and the FERS Progress Report will tell you all you need to know.

Basically, FERS is guaranteed income, affordable insurance, and an investment balance that you or your family can pull cash from, in the event of your retirement, your disability, or your death. It is worthy of being the foundation of any other financial action you take.

It's best for you to work with advisors who are experts in the best use of your benefits when planning your budget, your career, or your retirement, or with those committed to learning FERS well.  It's also best for you to work with advisors who won't mistakenly replace a FERS benefits with something else.

Our mission has been to develop the FERS Progress Report primarily to help you learn your benefits and make your best use of them each year. That process starts with the FERS Progress Report. 


100% Satisfaction
100% Satisfaction-Guarantee.

If you are dissatisfied with your FERS Progress Report, contact us at our email address within 5 days after your purchase. We will do what we can to resolve the issues to your satisfaction. Our friendly support team will help you until you get the results you need.

FERS rules and outcomes are generic! It's up to you to make FERS fit the plans you've made for your life!

The FERS Progress Report will show you how to stop feeling forced to make decisions for outcomes you really don’t want!

  • Use the concepts in your FERS Progress Report to make your decision-making process simpler and quicker.
  • Use your values and priorities to choose FERS rules and benefits that fit your life better.
  • Concept: Before you get lost in all the details of FERS, limit what you need to know to what matters most to you right now.
  • FERS is designed to reward you next week, next month, and next year, not just in a faraway future sometime later in life. 
  • Have your additional compensation package in mind when you think about how much money you make.
  • Think about pay, benefits, career, and retirement as tools (not goals) for projects you're planning for the future. 
  • Use FERS Mile Markers to evaluate the financial progress you've made and the economic potential of continuing your FERS career.

See the money you make; the compensation you receive; the value behind what you earn; the guaranteed income you've earned as of today; the cash you can get from annual leave; the amount of income protection you have if disabled today; the potential balance for your TSP account; the amounts you pay for life insurance and health insurance.  



 A pay statement that details your deductions is essential. It is also called an earnings & leave statement or ELS, a leave & earnings statement or LES, or an earnings statement or ES, depending on your agency).  TSP & Social Security statements are helpful but you can use your own best guess as a substitute for either or both statements.
**We NEVER ask for Social Security numbers, TSP account numbers, federal employee numbers, or any other information that compromises your security or identity.

What if I need help finding the materials that I need for input?

Pay statement - see your payroll offsite or contact your HR staff
TSP statement - it is in your account on www.TSP.gov.

If you can't get in your account, call the TSPLine 877-968-3778
Social Security statement - create a MySSA account on www.ssa.gov and carefully create your username and password and keep them in a safe place. Your Social Security statement can be generated there within a few minutes.

Where can I find a copy of my pay statement (LES or ELS or ES)?

Ask your HR dept. or payroll provider for those details.

What do deduction abbreviations in my pay statement(LES or ELS or ES)? 

 Ask for a deduction abbreviation cheatsheet from your payroll provider or from your HR dept. staff. 

What happens if I input the wrong information?

Contact our support and we'll  help you find out what went wrong and fill out the information again.

How and when will I receive My FERS Progress Report?

It will be sent to the email address you provide within 60 minutes of after submitting your information.

What if I have questions after reading my Report?

- There is a free introductory video posted on our website that explains each section of the FERS Progress Report.
- Webinars that discuss planning concepts and how you can use them, which has a separate fee.
- You can ask for a personal appointment with Mike, which has a separate fee.

What if I cannot understand what I read in my FERS Progress Report?

The Report is, by design,  very read-able. If you have trouble with terms or the acronyms, use our free Guide. Also, see our free introductory video.

About Mike

Professionally, Mike is a federal employee benefits instructor, a decision-making specialist, a CFP professional, and a mentor to those who want to learn more. 

Mike has consistently received the highest scores in attendee evaluations as a guest seminar instructor for U.S. Attorney Office districts and US Court districts across the country.  

Mike was also a guest instructor for three seminar events (2007-2009) provided by the  Office of Legal Education under the Executive Office for US Attorneys. 

Mike was been the featured instructor for 90+ presentations on the JTN Library (featuring forms of FERS retirement, TSP investments and withdrawals, OPM insurance programs, Social Security benefits, and Medicare benefits).  

Mike has trained hundreds of federal employees in DIY planning and decision-making, showing them how to find the benefits information for their current concerns and how to make the choices that best fit their needs for current cash flow without compromising on asset protection and security, and for future growth of their financial assets. 

Personally, Mike has been a husband to Lanelle for 40 years, a father to three, a grandfather to four; a son to two, a brother to three, an uncle to nine; a friend to many; a Bible teacher and preacher still seeking.