SCD, adding hubby and fed couples on today’s Fenobabble.
Hey, welcome to today’s Fenobabble, where we take questions from federal employees and make them understandable for humans in under 20 minutes and Cassie Knight and I am Kevin Jones and we take these questions from Fednobabble.com that you can submit if you’d like to, or we take them from the workshops that I do from the Fed Pilot workshops, and we go in more in depth than what we can usually do in a webinar or in a classroom style environment and talk about things that are even tangential to those topics as well.
So first one, let’s jump on this question. Number one, what do we do if both of us. OK, yeah, I think I did that wrong. But let’s just do this anyway. What do we do if both of us worked for the federal government? I don’t know what do they do with it, so it’s kind of a you know, that’s a big you know, and I’m sure this was asked in context of a certain topic, but I thought we’d throw this in there because I think it’s important to point out when when I do my classroom workshops, I say, how many of you are married to another federal couple?
And everyone, well, everyone the people who are married to another federal couple raise their hand. And I say there are bonuses for you and there are extra things that you get that no one else here gets. It’s important to know that if you’re in that situation, what those are, what you get and how to take advantage of those. Absolutely. There are so many different benefits that you can. Pieced together differently, if you’re a federal employee couple, as opposed to just being a federal employee with a spouse who works privately or outside of the government, and so you really have to think about what does that look like for you?
And of course, the answer is going to be different for everybody. Every federal employee couple is is a federal employee. Couple of CSRS and a FERS. Right, what retirement program are they under, what type of employment are they right. There’s too many questions here to really say what they should or should it do at all.
Even say this is this this has come up a few times. And it’s really interesting in answering what we do as a federal couple sometimes. It like you said, one could be the first one could be a CSRS, sometimes what you do will be different than what your spouse does. For example, in the TSP, if you want to take out any money from your TSP, if you’re a FERS, your spouse has to give notarized consent. So I’m going to have to go get a notarized consent from my spouse.
If I’m a CSRS, a CSRS employee, my spouse is only notified, which means that if I can get to the mailbox faster than my spouse can, she’ll never know why that new boat just suddenly showed up.
Publisher’s Clearing house style, you know, not so again, what you may want to do is different than what your spouse does if you’re a federal couple. So it’s important to dive in and understand what that is, what in what context you’re talking about. Good. All right.
That’s question number one.
Question number two, this one says, so to be clear, only I have to be an FEHB for five years before retirement and I can add my husband to my benefits at any time.
Is that right, Cassie? So I really am not really sure why they’re asking this question, but anyways, I guess essentially, yes, they only have to be in FEHB for five years before retirement, obviously, to keep it in retirement, because I think there’s like two separate pieces to this question.
So I’m going to let’s talk about the first one.
Good first. But here’s the deal. It kind of coincides with the next piece of this, which is, can I add my husband or I can add my husband to my benefits at any time.
So do you mean FEHB or FEGLI?
Like, I’m not really sure what they’re talking about, but I’m assuming it’s still for FEHB just due to the context of the question.
Yeah. And the answer is yes.
You can add your spouse, whether husband or wife, whatever, at any time to your FEHB however you want to make sure that they’re still covered. Prior to retirement, right, because if you just add them and then, you know, three months later you pass away, that might change financial stuff, right.
Or something like that. And so we’ve got to really make sure or maybe you think, oh, I’m going to add them. And let me back up here at any time, I’m assuming that they’re talking about at any given open season. I was going to clarify that.
Yes, yes, yes. Open season or based on a qualifying life event as well. For example, if you have a child. You can you can add who you want to, but again, having a child in retirement typically doesn’t happen so emotionally that you want to plan for.
I’m sure that can happen. I’m sure it does happen. But yeah, yeah, you need to be in an open season or have a qualifying life event to add. Right. So if you’re thinking I’m going to add my spouse in June of next year, that’s not a good idea because you’re not going to be able to unless obviously you can qualify, like have a kid get divorced, get married, all those different things.
But. Or death, you don’t want to add them when they die either. You can, you know, keep a retirement. So it depends on if you’re going to have them keep it. What does that situation look like? So I really think that through and I don’t just think that you can add them at any given time, you know, and obviously, are they going to be relying on your FEHB in retirement? If they are, you want to make sure that they’re added prior to retirement.
It’s just a good idea.
And then if they are reliant on it, you may want to think about survivor benefits at the same time, because if you die, they don’t get your health care. And that’s another discussion we can have later.
But I mean, again, tangential things that happen that we need to be thinking of that don’t come as a parent all the time. When we have one topic that we’re asking about, we need to make sure we’re covering everything else around it at the same time.
OK. Yes, very important.
OK, the next question. What do we do if both of us work for the federal. Oh, OK, I switched. I’m reading off something else. Is the SCD date listed on 1st paperwork accurate? What do you say? Oh, no. Yeah, I haven’t seen it. I don’t know what paperwork you’re talking about. Yeah. Okay. Are you talking about LEO?
Are you talking about your employee benefit statement or are you talking about your certified summary, are you talking about your OPM retirement estimate?
What are we referring to here and what city are we talking about? Yeah, OK.
We’re talking about the level or the retirement city because everybody has two sides. Well, whether they’re the same, that depends. Yeah.
OK, so you’re blowing my mind. Cassie. There are multiple sides and there are multiple people working.
What. Yes, they’re right. I know. Yeah it’s but and here’s the thing is that people don’t. I’ll give you a quick example. There was someone that I a federal employee that I knew, that I heard I didn’t know I heard about who did not know. When they go to it, when they went to retire, they were told, you don’t get a pension at all, period.
And what what why is that?
And they said, well, you didn’t pay into the first program or maybe it was a serious program. I don’t know. And they said, well, what do you mean?
I didn’t pay until I thought that was an automatic thing. They kind of came back, said, well, it is an automatic thing, but we accidentally messed up and didn’t take that from out of your paycheck. So you don’t get a pension. And then when I tell that story in the in the works on it, and then people say, well, didn’t he notice that it wasn’t coming out? And my response back is you don’t notice what’s not there.
A lot of times you don’t know.
Or, for example, if you’re looking at the SCD on your SF-50, you don’t know that it may may be in a different location.
I mean, if you don’t know that it’s not there, you never know to go look for it. So when you talk about different CDs and on different paperwork, all of a sudden I’m sure some federal employees, are they going to work? I need to probably look at all of those. And I didn’t know that they all existed. Right, and it’s super important. People think, oh, well, my city is on my on my peace check and that’s, you know, this date.
And then when they realize, oh, wait, I did have some temporary time or I had some military time or what have you. And there including that information and then the like. What do you mean you’re only going to my calculational.
That includes my 15 or 20 years that I’ve actually been working for the government, not, you know, or not my temporary service.
Right. Because maybe they had five years temporary time. I know. I was working with a postal employee.
And she started in the 80s, right, and I want to say eighty two or something like that. Well, she was temporary for almost 16 years.
So when not knowing, she not well known, she knew. Oh, she didn’t realize how it was going to affect her pension. OK, because we were calculating out her pension. She’s like, what do you mean? I only get, you know, eight hundred dollars a month.
And then of course you subtract the FEHB. Yep. And the vaguely I mean she we were able to get our life insurance plan and she reduced her family, but even still taking out that FEHB, you know, payment every month.
And then she was all down to like five hundred dollars.
So here she is, has worked for the government for over 30 years.
But getting a five hundred dollar pension overhaul. And you’re right, I have seen that exact same thing as well, not knowing what it was like. Not I remember one person in particular saying, wait a minute, I’ve worked for the government for all these years and all I get are the last five. I assumed I made the assumption that I would get it all and maybe not all of it because I was a contractor, but I thought I would get something.
No, not at all. Right. Yeah, right.
Very important to make sure that the way you’re looking at the right city for the purpose of it. Right. Are you calculating your leave? Are you calculating retirement? What is what does that look like? And, you know, if you need to find out what those both are, then reach out to us and we’ll help you get connected with an adviser in one of our in our trusted network who can help you really dive into what those different cities are.
You know, is there service time that’s eligible for a deposit or or redeposit? Did you work part time? And how does that affect your pension?
And and really look at those numbers, because our goal is to bring awareness to federal employees and get them to and encourage them to take action and be responsible for their retirement plan.
Yeah. And so if you would go to Fednobabble.com and Cassie will create a report for you and it’ll be comprehensive and it’ll show. OK, what do you need to look at what you know, if there are any questions in there, what’s going on? And then the advisor and our trusted network that will sit down with you, we’ll say, OK, here are some things you need to be thinking about and then you can ask all the questions you want about your particular situation and get all those.
We’re going to we’re going to give them all those answers to when they when they get that report back. We’re providing all of those answers for them. So that way, when they have that second meeting with the employee or with the advisor, then they’re going to be able to answer how to how this affects that and and all of these different pieces to really make sure that you understand what those are and really set you up for financial success. So sorry to interrupt there.
No, no, no, that’s good. That’s that’s just fine. And if you want to submit a question for us to answer, because things are complicated, also go to Fednobabble.com and you can do that as well. Yes, and again, no Cassie’s no obligation or advisers aren’t going to give you a sales pitch or anything like that, they simply want you to understand your benefits and see what they can do to help you if there is anything that you can do to help you.
Also, please, like subscribe share with your co-workers, you are federal employees or whoever you’ve got in your network and spread the word that we’re here. We want to be able to help you guys out till next time.
Thanks. Bye. And.