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Articles by Lacie Harmon

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Your Social Security Full Retirement Age (FRA) is an age set by Social Security, and it varies based on your year of birth. For those of us born between 1938 and 1942, it’s 65 and often some additional months, for those born between 1943 and 1959, it’s 66 and often some additional months. For those born 1960 or later, that age is 67.

FRA is an important thing to understand for two reasons. First, it’s the age after which you are able to collect full Social Security benefits without penalty for collecting pre-FRA. Second, it’s the age at which you are able to earn unlimited income and also collect Social Security without any penalty.

If you haven’t reached your FRA, the following rules apply this year:

You can earn up to $22,320 without penalty to your benefit.

In the event you’re retiring some time during this year, the rules are relaxed and your limits on earnings don’t begin until after you’ve retired. At that time, as long as you don’t exceed earnings of $1,860/mth. or perform “substantial services” while self-employed, no penalties are applied to your Social Security benefit. Amounts over that will be penalized $1 for every $2 that you earn over the limit. (Please note, the aforementioned rules also apply to the Social Security Special Supplement, which is the secondary pension paid out to federal retirees under age 62 who have met the age and service requirements). Read More

FedWeek article about FEGLI in Retirement

By Lacie Harmon, The Federal Benefits Group

As you near retirement, you may be wondering whether or not to keep some or all of your Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage. While many soon-to-be retirees decide to drop much of their coverage at retirement time rather than facing higher premiums, there are certain aspects of the coverage that are well worth considering hanging onto, depending on your age and health. What do I mean by this? Let’s break down the four parts of FEGLI and look at why keeping some of them in retirement can be an attractive option.

 

Basic
Basic FEGLI is coverage on the employee equal to annual salary rounded up to the nearest thousand, with a $2,000 bonus on top. For example, if an employee earns $74,500, their coverage is $77,000 ($74,500 rounded up to the nearest thousand + $2,000). Importantly, Basic FEGLI coverage is permanent life insurance, meaning that as long as you pay the monthly premium, which is deducted from your monthly pension once you’ve retired, you’re covered for life. And, here’s where the potential financial benefit comes in 
. . . Read More

FedWeek article 8 mistakes Federal Employees Make During Open Season

By Lacie Harmon, The Federal Benefits Group

Open Season is set for November 14th to December 12th, 2022. But, while managing your insurance choices can be far from easy, you can avoid pitfalls and increase your chances of having a successful Open Season if you avoid a handful of common mistakes:

1. MISUNDERSTANDING WHEN CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT
While the changes you make to your benefits are added to a processing queue during Open Season, they don’t go into effect until the first day of your first full pay period of the following year. For most current employees, this will be Sunday, January 1, 2023. Enrollees will remain covered and receive the benefits of their old plans until the new plan goes into effect
. . .  Read More 

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