PLANNING FOR A SUCCESSFUL RETIREMENT
Keeping It Simple MEDICARE 10 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
A Little Bit More To Consider FEHB PLAN AND MEDICARE
THE FEDERAL RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE AT AGE 65
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for:
People 65 years of age and older.
Some people with disabilities under 65 years of age.
People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
Medicare has four parts:
Part A (Hospital Insurance). Most people do not have to pay for Part A. If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, you should be able to qualify for premium-free Part A insurance. (If you were a Federal employee at any time both before and during January 1983, you will receive credit for your Federal employment before January 1983.) Otherwise, if you are age 65 or older, you may be able to buy it. Contact 1-800-MEDICARE for more information.
Part B (Medical Insurance). Most people pay monthly for Part B. Generally, Part B premiums are withheld from your monthly Social Security check or your retirement check.
Part C (Medicare Advantage). If you are eligible for Medicare, you may have choices in how you get your health care. Medicare Advantage is the term used to describe the various health plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may choose to enroll in and get your Medicare benefits from a Medicare managed care plan. These are health care choices (like HMOs) in some areas of the country. In most Medicare managed care plans, you can only go to doctors, specialists, or hospitals that are part of the plan. Medicare managed care plans provide all the benefits that Original Medicare covers. Some cover extras, like prescription drugs. To learn more about enrolling in a Medicare managed care plan, contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or at www.medicare.gov (external link).
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan to get your Medicare benefits. Medicare Advantage is the term used to describe the various private health plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries.
Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage). There is a monthly premium for Part D coverage. Most Federal employees do not need to enroll in the Medicare drug program, since all Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plans will have prescription drug benefits that are at least equal to the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. Still, you may want to be aware of the benefits Medicare is offering, so you can help others make informed decisions. If you have limited savings and a low income, you may be eligible for Medicare’s Low-Income Benefits. For people with limited income and resources, extra help in paying for a Medicare prescription drug plan is available. Information regarding this program is available through the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information about this extra help, visit SSA online at www.ssa.gov (external link), or call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
The FEHB health plan brochures explain how they coordinate benefits with Medicare, depending on the type of Medicare managed care plan you have. If you are eligible for Medicare coverage read this information carefully, as it will have a real bearing on your benefits. The Original Medicare Plan (Original Medicare) is available everywhere in the United States. It is the way everyone used to get Medicare benefits and is the way most people get their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits now. You may go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital that accepts Medicare. The Original Medicare Plan pays its share and you pay your share. Some things are not covered under Original Medicare, like prescription drugs.
Should I enroll in Medicare? The decision to enroll in Medicare is yours. We encourage you to apply for Medicare benefits 3 months before you turn age 65. It’s easy. Just call the Social Security Administration toll-fee number 1-800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to apply. If you do not apply for one or more Parts of Medicare, you can still be covered under the FEHB Program.
If you can get premium-free Part A coverage, we advise you to enroll in it. Most Federal employees and annuitants are entitled to Medicare Part A at age 65 without cost. When you don’t have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A, it makes good sense to obtain coverage. It can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses as well as costs to FEHB, which can help keep FEHB premiums down.
Everyone is charged a premium for Medicare Part B coverage. The Social Security Administration can provide you with premium and benefit information. Review the information and decide if it makes sense for you to buy the Medicare Part B coverage. If you are eligible for Medicare, you may have choices in how you get your health care.
Medicare Advantage is the term used to describe the various private health plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries. The information in the next few pages shows how we coordinate benefits with Medicare, depending on whether you are in the Original Medicare Plan or a private Medicare Advantage Plan.
The Original Medicare Plan (Part A and Part B)
The Original Medicare Plan (Original Medicare) is available everywhere in the United States. It is the way everyone used to get Medicare benefits and is the way most people get their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits now. You may go to any doctor, specialist, or hospital that accepts Medicare. The Original Medicare Plan pays its share and you pay your share. When you are enrolled in Original Medicare along with an FEHB Plan, you still need to follow the rules in the Plan’s brochure to cover your care. Please consult your health plan for specific information about filing your claims when you have the Original Medicare Plan.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) If you are eligible for Medicare, you may choose to enroll in and get your Medicare benefits from a Medicare Advantage plan. These are private health care choices (like HMO’s) in some areas of the country. To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans, contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or at www.medicare.gov (external link).
Please consult your health plan for specific options available to you when you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Suspended FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan: If you are an annuitant or former spouse, you can suspend your FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, eliminating your FEHB premium.
(OPM does not contribute to your Medicare Advantage plan premium.)
For information on suspending your FEHB enrollment, contact your retirement office. If you later want to re-enroll in the FEHB program, generally you may do so only at the next Open Season unless you involuntarily lose coverage or move out of the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D)
When the FEHB plan is the primary payer, the FEHB plan will process the claim first. If you enroll in Medicare Part D and we are the secondary payer, we will review claims for your prescription drug costs that are not covered by Medicare Part D and consider them for payment under the FEHB plan.
Question: How is Medicare funded?
Answer: Medicare is funded through the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund.
Question: How does the health care law (Affordable Care Act or ACA) affects people with Medicare?
Answer: If you have Medicare, you don’t need to change to a Marketplace plan, and you get more preventive services without paying the Medicare Part B coinsurance or deductible. You can save money on brand name drugs (Medicare Part D), and your doctor may get more resources to support care coordination. You can also be assured that Medicare funding will be available to help you save on premiums and coinsurance.
LIFE INSURANCE AT AGE 65
If you retired before December 9, 1980, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 2 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 25 percent of the face value. This coverage is free. If you retired on or after December 9, 1980, and before January 1, 1990, you elected one of the following reduction schedules for your Basic life insurance: 75 percent reduction – If you elected this reduction schedule, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 2 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 25 percent of the face value. This coverage is free. 50 percent reduction – If you elected this reduction schedule, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 1 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 50 percent of the face value.
We withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity beginning at retirement and continuing for life. No Reduction – If you elected this reduction schedule, the full amount of your Basic life insurance remains in force after you reach age 65. We withhold premiums for this additional coverage from your annuity beginning at retirement and continuing for life. If you retire after December 31, 1989, you must elect one of the three reduction schedules described above when you retire. Regardless of which reduction schedule you elect, if you separate before age 65, until you are 65 you must also pay the same premium as employees for the Basic life insurance you continue into retirement. The amount of Option A – Standard insurance (formerly known as “Optional insurance”) is $10,000 at retirement. If you retired before October 30, 1998, your Option A insurance may have been higher than $10,000. If you have this coverage, it will begin to reduce by 2 percent per month or $200, beginning the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later, until it reaches 25 percent of the face value or $2,500. We will withhold premiums for Option A insurance from your annuity through the end of the month in which you are 65, unless you elect to cancel this coverage. All annuitants with Option B – Additional insurance as of April 24, 1999, or later, are eligible to make an Option B reduction election. Those who are 65 or older at retirement will hear from us shortly after retirement. We will contact annuitants who retired before age 65 shortly before their 65th birthday. At that time, the annuitant may elect either Full Reduction or No Reduction for each separate multiple of Option B. For example, a person with five multiples may elect No Reduction on two multiples, while the three remaining multiples reduce fully. If you elect Full Reduction, effective the first day of the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later, your Option B full-reduction multiples will reduce by 2 percent of the face value per month for 50 months, at which time this coverage will end. We will withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity through the month in which you reach age 65. If you elect to continue some or all of your Option B multiples with No Reduction, when you are 65 or at retirement, whichever is later, we will adjust the withholding for your Option B coverage to reflect the number of multiples you decided to retain at No Reduction. Any other multiples will start to reduce as described above.
All annuitants who have Option C – Family insurance, and whose annuity commencing dates are April 24, 1999, or later, are eligible to make an Option C reduction election. Those who are 65 or older at retirement will hear from us shortly after retirement. We will contact annuitants who retired before age 65 shortly before their 65th birthday. At that time, the annuitant may elect either Full Reduction or No Reduction for each separate multiple of Option C. For example, a person with five multiples may elect No Reduction on two multiples, while the three remaining multiples reduce fully. If you elect Full Reduction, or if you separated for retirement before April 24, 1999, effective the first day of the second month after you reach age 65 or your retirement date, whichever is later, your Option C full-reduction multiples will reduce by 2 percent of the face value per month for 50 months, at which time this coverage will end. We will withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity through the month in which you reach age 65. If you elect to continue some or all of your Option C multiples with No Reduction we will adjust the withholding for your Option C coverage to reflect the number of multiples you decided to retain at No Reduction. Any other multiples will start to reduce as described above. For more complete information about life insurance coverage as an annuitant, please check the life insurance pamphlet, Information for Retirees and Their Families: Federal Employees Group Life Insurance, RI 76-12.
From the "Horse's Mouth".... An Explanation of the "Future of Social Security"
Alliance for Retired Americans Alliance for Retired Americans TRUMP BUDGET 2017 Trump Budget 5-23-17 Senate ACA Repeal 62217
Buying a Bigger Retirement Benefit
Let’s talk about the importance of service credit in the federal retirement planning process. So let’s dig deeper into the issue of service credit deposits and redeposits. In general, such deposits come into play in cases where you have performed federal service without having retirement deductions withheld from your pay, or have received a refund of your retirement deductions. You can pay the money back into the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System.
If you determine that you are eligible to pay a military or civilian service credit deposit or redeposit, it is important to determine if it will be worth your while to do so. All deposits are optional; some are clearly worth paying while others might be a “six of one or half a dozen of the other” situation. Here are some things to keep in mind as you decide:
How much do you owe for each deposit period? It’s possible that you have more than one type of deposit and separate deposit periods.
How much will your retirement be reduced if you don’t pay the deposit or redeposit? Under FERS, it is generally going to be “no payment, no credit,” but for CSRS, it’s not quite so clear-cut.
Where do you have the money invested that you would use to pay back the deposit? How well is it performing?
You may delay making the deposit until you retire, but it is a good idea to find out how much you owe earlier so you can save up the funds during your career.
Interest accrues and accumulates on your unpaid balance throughout your career or until the deposit is paid. The 2016 variable interest rate is 2 percent for most deposits. Some older periods of service might be charged a 3 percent interest rate if the service is creditable under CSRS or the CSRS portion of a FERS retirement.
The decision to pay or not pay a deposit will ultimately depend on the impact to your retirement benefit versus the ability to have those funds available for another purpose.
Remember that once a deposit is paid, the funds will no longer be available to be withdrawn unless you later become eligible for a refund of your retirement contributions.
What would be the return on your investment if you pay the deposit? Let’s say you owe a $9,000 deposit payment, and if you don’t pay back the money, it would result in a $900 per year reduction to your retirement. (These are purely hypothetical numbers.) At that rate, you’ll recover your $9,000 investment in 10 years of retirement. That’s a guaranteed 10 percent return — not bad by today’s standards.
The return on investing in a service credit deposit might even be a little higher than that, because federal retirees usually receive annual cost of living adjustments. In the above example, the $900 reduction to your retirement would become $927 if there is a 3 percent COLA — and that amount would go even higher with COLAs in subsequent years.
The above figures are just one example. The amount you owe and the impact of how an unpaid deposit will affect your retirement will depend on your retirement coverage, when the service was performed, whether it was civilian or military service, and several other factors. This is why you should request information about your service credit from your agency’s retirement specialist or another qualified expert. The experience that a coworker may have had is not likely to be the same as yours. Finally, if you’re married, remember that some unpaid deposits will reduce the value of a survivor’s annuity payment, but there also are some situations where the reduction only applies to the employee’s retirement and not to the spousal survivor annuity. Be sure to explore these issues if you are married and you are planning to provide a survivor’s annuity.
Why Do So Many People Claim Social Security at 62? Article….The Motley Fool June 6, 2016
Social Security is primarily known for its retirement benefits, and given that most people think of 65 as the typical retirement age, you might think that most people would wait that long before taking their Social Security benefits. Yet in actuality, more people claim Social Security benefits at 62, the first opportunity at which one can claim retirement benefits, than at any other age, including nearly half of women and more than 40% of men. That fact raises a simple question: Why do so many people take early benefits? Let’s look at some possible reasons below.
Reason 1…Many people can’t afford to wait. It’s true that claiming Social Security at 62 means that you’ll get 25% less in monthly benefits than if you waited until the full retirement age of 66. However, many people don’t have the luxury to wait an extra four years before taking monthly checks from Social Security. Being able to continue working into your 60s is far from a guaranteed proposition for today’s older workforce, and layoffs, health problems, or other unforeseen circumstances can force you to give up plans to keep earning income as long as you had hoped. If you don’t have enough in savings to bridge the gap between the end of your career and full retirement age, then taking early Social Security benefits at 62 can be the best option you have available to make ends meet.
Reason 2…You don’t think you’ll live long enough to make back what you lose if you wait. Taking Social Security at 62 involves a trade-off. You get a larger number of monthly payments over the course of your lifetime, because you start getting those payments earlier than those who wait. However, each payment is smaller than it would be if you waited. If you knew that you were going to live to be 100, then it would typically make sense to wait until age 70 to claim your benefits, because you’d get enough of the larger payments that it would make up for the benefits you missed out on from 62 to 70. Many people are more pessimistic about their prospects to have a long and healthy retirement. For them, getting while the getting is good is the guiding principle, and that motivates them to take benefits early even with the attendant trade-off involved.
Reason 3…You have children who will only be eligible for payments if you claim early. Retirees who have children who are under age 18, in high school and age 18 or 19, or disabled are eligible to receive children’s benefits. However, those benefits are only available if the worker in question has claimed retirement benefits. In some cases, that will swing the pendulum toward claiming Social Security early. For instance, take a person who is 62 and has a 14-year-old child who will graduate from high school within four years. If the person waits until age 66, then the child will be 18 and therefore won’t get any benefits. However, if the person takes Social Security at age 62, then the 14-year-old child would be able to claim children’s benefits under Social Security for several years. That could be enough to shift the balance back toward claiming early.
Reason 4…An outside pension will wipe out your Social Security payments later in your retirement. A couple of provisions of Social Security law can have an impact on your Social Security payments. If you have a pension from a government job in which you didn’t pay into the Social Security payroll tax system, then the Windfall Elimination Provision can reduce your Social Security check by up to $428 per month in 2016, or half what you get from your government pension, whichever is less. Meanwhile, the Government Pension Offset has a similar impact on spousal benefits, reducing your Social Security check by two-thirds of whatever you get from your own pension. In some cases, this can wipe out your Social Security entirely. Many government pensions give you latitude about when you can take them, and one way of handling them is to claim early Social Security benefits with the full expectation that later on, you’ll start receiving your outside pension and will get dramatically decreased or eliminated payments. That way, you at least get some benefit from Social Security without worrying about how integrate with other programs. Making a smart decision about Social Security can be tough. Given how important the process is, though, it’s worth the extra effort in order to make sure that you’ve made the right decision.
NATIONAL PENSION PLAN
The IAM National Pension Fund, National Pension Plan is a “defined benefit pension plan.” Under a defined benefit plan, eligible participants receive a non-forfeitable benefit at retirement. The benefit is calculated by a set formula, which under our plan includes:
• The participant’s age at retirement
• The participant’s amount of credited service
• The contribution rates paid by contributing employer(s) on the participant’s behalf
• The form of payment chosen by the participant at retirement Participants become eligible for a pension benefit after five years of vesting service. They may receive an unreduced benefit at any age after 30 years of service, or at age 62 with 20 years of service. A preretirement death benefit is available to a participant’s spouse in the event of the participant’s death. Post retirement benefit may also be available to a participant’s spouse in the event of the participant’s death subject to the election made by the Participant at the time of retirement The National Pension Plan Summary Plan Description (SPD) provides a summary of the plan’s rules and benefits. The SPD and this website provide a summary of the plan. The plan’s rules are governed by the official Plan Document. In the event of a discrepancy of the information provided the Plan Document against the SPD and this website, the Plan Document will govern. Pension Plan Summary/Description
RETIREES ARE FIGHTING FOR YOUR FUTURE IAM RETIREES 2017
From the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans NCARA_July 2017 Newsletter
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW YOU MY HELP OUR MEMBERS?
JOINING A RETIREE CLUB AND STAYING ACTIVE IN RETIREMENT
For more information about the RAP and RESP programs, contact the:
More than 30 IAM retirees recently took part in the IAM Retirees Assistance Program (RAP) With the ranks of retired members growing each year, the work of the IAM Retirees Department has become increasingly important. The RAP was established by the department to provide a wealth of information on issues specific to senior-life situations. The program is designed for retired members, spouses and those ready to retire.
“I’m still active in my local and my district,” said Havelock, NC Local 2296 retiree Rowlinda Farrow. “And this is information that I can pass on to them.”
Throughout the week, the group interacted with experts on topics including mental health, investment education, grief issues, addiction, household safety and nutrition.
“This kind of instruction demonstrates that the IAM is interested in the member from the cradle to the grave,” said Edwardsville, IL Local FL406 member Frank Catalano. “I’m retiring at the end of the year and it’s good to see that the union recognizes the importance of retirees having a full life in retirement.”
“I hope to gain the ability to help my fellow retired members deal with issues that affect the quality of their life,” said Montreal, Local 2468 retiree Ed O’Flaherty.
“I participated in the union during my working career. But I’m retired now and the union is still looking after me, and still caring for me.” “I enjoy learning anything that can be beneficial to myself and to be able to bring it to other people,” said Deborah O’Flaherty, Ed’s wife.
“It helps us set up for problems that we are going to face eventually.”
The Retirees Department also hosts Retirees Education Strategy Program (RESP) classes, which are designed to help keep retirees active with their union and fellow members across the U.S. and Canada.
Any 2297 Union Member retiring in the next few days or weeks should immediately contact the Lodge Secretary or President and fill out an Application For Retirement Card. Retirement_Card_App
GOIAM-RETIREES-FEBRUARY-2016-NEWSLETTER MAY 2016, GOIAM RETIREES MONTHLY NEWSLETTER JULY 2016 GOIAM RETIREES NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2016 GOIAM RETIREE NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2016 GOIAM RETIREE NEWSLETTER
MORE ABOUT RETIREMENT PROS AND CONS aarp.org retiredamericans.org
IMPORTANT MESSAGE….IAM Locallodge2297 and/or this site’s administrator does not always necessarily agree or adopt the content or opinion of any other web site or author linked from, or identified in or on this site.