What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

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Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tomwood » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:40 am

tj wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:46 pm

No! Every credit union has a specific listing of eligible groups.
Thank you

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:23 am
tomwood wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:47 pm
are there any banks/credit unions or credit cards available to federal employees which offer great rates?
If you are employed in the Defense Department, you are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.

There are also other Federal Credit Unions you may be eligible to joint as well.
Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."

RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by RJC » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:11 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:23 am
tomwood wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:47 pm
are there any banks/credit unions or credit cards available to federal employees which offer great rates?
If you are employed in the Defense Department, you are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.

There are also other Federal Credit Unions you may be eligible to joint as well.
Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."
I work for HHS and was still able to sign up for Navy Federal.

tj
Posts: 2677
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tj » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:33 pm

RJC wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:11 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:23 am
tomwood wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:47 pm
are there any banks/credit unions or credit cards available to federal employees which offer great rates?
If you are employed in the Defense Department, you are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.

There are also other Federal Credit Unions you may be eligible to joint as well.
Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."
I work for HHS and was still able to sign up for Navy Federal.
You weren't supposed to be able to if you don't have military ties.

RJC
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by RJC » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:40 pm

tj wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:33 pm
RJC wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:11 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:23 am

If you are employed in the Defense Department, you are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.

There are also other Federal Credit Unions you may be eligible to joint as well.
Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."
I work for HHS and was still able to sign up for Navy Federal.
You weren't supposed to be able to if you don't have military ties.
Our pay is processed by DFAS so maybe that is the case?

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 22260
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:41 pm

tj wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:33 pm
RJC wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:11 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:23 am
If you are employed in the Defense Department, you are eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union.
There are also other Federal Credit Unions you may be eligible to joint as well.
Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."
I work for HHS and was still able to sign up for Navy Federal.
You weren't supposed to be able to if you don't have military ties.
No, not at all.

There are, currently, many ways to legitimately be eligible for Navy Federal membership:
1. Be in any branch of the military or be employed as a civilian in the Defense department
2. Be an immediate family member (spouse, parent, child, grandchild) of someone in #1 above OR anyone who is currently a member of Navy Federal.
3. I believe military retirees also qualify in #1
4. There might even be other ways to qualify - not 100% sure though.

tj
Posts: 2677
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tj » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:26 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:41 pm
tj wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:33 pm
RJC wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:11 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 pm

Thanks. Are all or nearly all credit unions open to federal employees?
Go to the websites of the credit unions that interest you, and they will list their membership qualifications. Credit unions are independent from the government, so membership in a credit union is not a "government employment benefit."
I work for HHS and was still able to sign up for Navy Federal.
You weren't supposed to be able to if you don't have military ties.
No, not at all.

There are, currently, many ways to legitimately be eligible for Navy Federal membership:
1. Be in any branch of the military or be employed as a civilian in the Defense department
2. Be an immediate family member (spouse, parent, child, grandchild) of someone in #1 above OR anyone who is currently a member of Navy Federal.
3. I believe military retirees also qualify in #1
4. There might even be other ways to qualify - not 100% sure though.
Those are literally all military ties. Be in or former military, work as a civilian for a military agency, be a family member of someone in the military. The only exception is famoly member of a nfcu member. There were workarounds in the past, like when nfcu acquired a credit union in San Diego that was open to virtually everyone.

Maybe being paid by DFAS is good enough to satisfy being a dod civilian for their purposes though.

Paul78
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:17 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by Paul78 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:40 am

tj wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:48 am
Paul78 wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:25 pm
rascott wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:50 am
The FERS defined benefit was a great deal when you were only contributing 0.8% of your pay. Now it's 4.4% mandatory
contributions for new employees.

Yep that really adds up over a career. Don't get me wrong it is still a good deal (the Fed portion is much higher than 4.4% of your salary) but over the course of a career that amounts to a lost year of earnings. I entered the last year of .8%. Even though it only initially bumped up to 1.4% (would have to double check the numbers but it was around there) that is still a noticeable difference over a 30+ year career.
It went from 0.8% to 3.4% to 4.4%. It's frustrating that they didn't just increase it a little bit for everyone vs the massive increases for new hires. The 4.4% is still a good deal though. It just means less of the benefit is taxable when you retire.
It is far easier (when unions are involved) to put the burden on future employees. I mean don't get me wrong I am not saying they needed to have the union on board (maybe they didn't) but it is just much smoother to bake it into the cake for new employees (who are aware of the terms before they accept employment) than to upset a bunch of current employees who did not agree to those terms when they were hired.

pahkcah
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by pahkcah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:21 pm

tomwood

There is no limit to the balance of sick leave hours you can accumulate. Once you are eligible for retirement, these hours (in monthly blocks) can count as extra time worked. This can increase the monthly defined pension piece of your FERS.

Recommend attending any class offered by VA or another Government organization that is focused on pre-retirement or retirement planning. Take advantage of any such classes as soon as possible in your career. It’s never too soon to start planning for retirement!

There are a number of threads on the Bogleheads' site and elsewhere that discuss differences in FEHB health plans. Be aware that you must have health care coverage under the FEHB for the last 5 contiguous years of service in order to continue FEHB coverage into retirement. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, but that’s the general rule.

Here’s a link to OPM’s guidance for new/prospective employees for anyone interested:
https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... Employees/

I wish you great success in your Federal career!

pahkcah

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tomwood » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:23 pm

tj wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:47 am
I would not waste money on that.... maybe look at it in your 50s.
I would absolutely get a LTCFeds policy, as there is not an extensive medical underwriting questionaire within your first year. I'm 34 and I pay $33.30/pay period for a 5 years of $450/day benefit, locking in the cheap rates while young seems pretty beneficial to me.

If I waited until my 50's, I would spend a lot more on the insurance, and perhaps might not pass the underwriting for the best rate.

I wouldn't bother with the Aetna HDHP. The plan most closest to GEHA HDHP in price would be the MHBP HDHP. MHBP requires you to join the Mail Handlers union and it doesn't cover dental like GEHA does. It does put more in your HSA though.


Also United HealthCare had a good priced HDHP/HSA, but not available nationally...
Is there guess as to what you’d pay per year for this same coverage if you wanted until 50 and you were in good health?

tj
Posts: 2677
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tj » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:27 am

tomwood wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:23 pm
tj wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:47 am
I would not waste money on that.... maybe look at it in your 50s.
I would absolutely get a LTCFeds policy, as there is not an extensive medical underwriting questionaire within your first year. I'm 34 and I pay $33.30/pay period for a 5 years of $450/day benefit, locking in the cheap rates while young seems pretty beneficial to me.

If I waited until my 50's, I would spend a lot more on the insurance, and perhaps might not pass the underwriting for the best rate.

I wouldn't bother with the Aetna HDHP. The plan most closest to GEHA HDHP in price would be the MHBP HDHP. MHBP requires you to join the Mail Handlers union and it doesn't cover dental like GEHA does. It does put more in your HSA though.


Also United HealthCare had a good priced HDHP/HSA, but not available nationally...
Is there guess as to what you’d pay per year for this same coverage if you wanted until 50 and you were in good health?
You can use their calculator, but you have to assume the premiums will go up in 15 years. And you will have to go through full underwriting questions rather than expedited.

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dm200
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Location: Washington DC area

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:10 am

pahkcah wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:21 pm
tomwood

There is no limit to the balance of sick leave hours you can accumulate. Once you are eligible for retirement, these hours (in monthly blocks) can count as extra time worked. This can increase the monthly defined pension piece of your FERS.

pahkcah
In my opinion, this is a great benefit!

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:25 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:10 am
pahkcah wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:21 pm
tomwood

There is no limit to the balance of sick leave hours you can accumulate. Once you are eligible for retirement, these hours (in monthly blocks) can count as extra time worked. This can increase the monthly defined pension piece of your FERS.

pahkcah
In my opinion, this is a great benefit!
Would you therefore take personal paid days on the occasional rare sick day/doctor’s appointment and continue to accumulate suck days for this retirement benefit?

pahkcah
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by pahkcah » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:11 pm

tomwood,

Recommend you take a look at an earlier thread titled “Federal Employee Burn or Sick Leave [Before Retirement].” A number of people expressed opinions on the use of sick leave versus annual leave in that thread.

The official direction, per OPM, states that it is up to the employee’s supervisor to decide whether annual leave can be used in lieu of sick leave. Here is the official OPM direction:

Annual Leave for Sick Leave Purposes
Employees may request annual leave instead of using sick leave (see Sick Leave (General Information) fact sheet). Although an employee may request annual leave for sick leave purposes, annual leave is subject to supervisory approval and may be denied. If an employee chooses to use annual leave for sick leave purposes, he or she may want to share the reason for the request with the supervisor so that the request receives proper consideration.

Here’s a link to the OPM web page where this direction is provided:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversig ... ual-leave/

I retired under CSRS and was able to add an additional 15 months of time to my retirement. Very fortunate to have been pretty healthy during my career.

If you want to see how sick hours are converted, check the following site:
https://www.federalretirement.net/sickleavechart.htm

pahkcah

tj
Posts: 2677
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tj » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:25 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:25 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:10 am
pahkcah wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:21 pm
tomwood

There is no limit to the balance of sick leave hours you can accumulate. Once you are eligible for retirement, these hours (in monthly blocks) can count as extra time worked. This can increase the monthly defined pension piece of your FERS.

pahkcah
In my opinion, this is a great benefit!
Would you therefore take personal paid days on the occasional rare sick day/doctor’s appointment and continue to accumulate suck days for this retirement benefit?
It's more valuable to use the hours. I guess i'd use annual over sick if I was in use it or lose it territory...

janezoey
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Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by janezoey » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:49 pm

Regarding PSLF:
1. Try to fill out the employment certification every year and keep a record of your W2s for the full ten years of your loans (e.g. keep an electronic copies). Sometimes your employer will change payroll numbers, and then the loan servicer gets confused about how many payments qualify under that employer. Then they will ask for your W2s to verify. So it's best to catch that kind of change sooner to make paperwork filing easier.
2. Try to max out your TSP as pre-tax. That will reduce your monthly loan payment because it reduces your AGI.
3. If you plan to have kids, you can file for a loan payment adjustment during the year your child will be born (even before he/she is born).

Otherwise, if you don't have PSLF, it's better to have your TSP contributions go to Roth. However, your employer's contributions will still go to pre-tax no matter what. Right now tax rates are historically low, so it's like having a tax discount if you use post-tax Roth. Additionally, because you will have a pension and Social Security, it's better to have Roth for the sake of tax diversification later.

Also, you should be aware that once you opt out of the life insurance program, it's very, very rare that they have open season for that benefit again. My husband opt out after we switched to private term insurance. He has been employed for 9 years, and he's only seen the life insurance benefit have open enrollment once.

User avatar
Matigas
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Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by Matigas » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:58 pm

Expect to be rewarded for mediocrity.

Helo80
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by Helo80 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:28 pm

In the vastness of DoD, there is likely at least one HHS billet at a DoD installation.

IDK - this is all just a fun point to ponder as I am unaware of any major reason to join NFCU... If there is a compelling reason, I'd like to know.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tomwood » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:22 am

janezoey wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:49 pm
Regarding PSLF:
1. Try to fill out the employment certification every year and keep a record of your W2s for the full ten years of your loans (e.g. keep an electronic copies). Sometimes your employer will change payroll numbers, and then the loan servicer gets confused about how many payments qualify under that employer. Then they will ask for your W2s to verify. So it's best to catch that kind of change sooner to make paperwork filing easier.
2. Try to max out your TSP as pre-tax. That will reduce your monthly loan payment because it reduces your AGI.
3. If you plan to have kids, you can file for a loan payment adjustment during the year your child will be born (even before he/she is born).


Also, you should be aware that once you opt out of the life insurance program, it's very, very rare that they have open season for that benefit again. My husband opt out after we switched to private term insurance. He has been employed for 9 years, and he's only seen the life insurance benefit have open enrollment once.

Great loan forgiveness advice. Thank you.

I’m in my 30s and good health. I’ve been told the federal life insurance isn’t a good deal and someone in my situation should buy a private plan. Would you suggest differently?

Helo80
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by Helo80 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:26 am

tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:22 am
I’m in my 30s and good health. I’ve been told the federal life insurance isn’t a good deal and someone in my situation should buy a private plan. Would you suggest differently?

If you need life insurance and are in good health, it's best to opt out of FEGLI. The rates are not competitive with private sector rates. And yes, as the other poster mentioned, it's rare that there is an open season on FEGLI.

supersharpie
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Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by supersharpie » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:32 am

Matigas wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:58 pm
Expect to be rewarded for mediocrity.
Yup, just like megacorps do in the private sector.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by tomwood » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:09 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:26 am
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:22 am
I’m in my 30s and good health. I’ve been told the federal life insurance isn’t a good deal and someone in my situation should buy a private plan. Would you suggest differently?

If you need life insurance and are in good health, it's best to opt out of FEGLI. The rates are not competitive with private sector rates. And yes, as the other poster mentioned, it's rare that there is an open season on FEGLI.
Thank you

peseta
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:40 pm

Re: What Benefits to Expect for new Fed employee?

Post by peseta » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:19 pm

Matigas wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:58 pm
Expect to be rewarded for mediocrity.
Not every agency or mission fits your blunt stereotype. The one I work for does not.

peseta

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