Until now, there has never been a comprehensive, easy-to-understand handbook for federal employees and retirees that fully explains not only Social Security and Medicare but also how they dovetail (and, in some cases, conflict) with the federal government's retirement and health insurance programs.
Social Security and Medicare are easily the two most misunderstood benefits that federal employees, postal workers and retirees have, but it's vital that you understand just what types of benefits you're accumulating, what level of benefits and when you stand to receive them, what provisions might reduce or even eliminate them, and how they interact with your other benefits-in sum, how to best position yourselves to get the most out of these two key programs.
Federal employees and retirees have a large stake in the outcome, even though they have separate retirement and health insurance programs. Those programs are intertwined with both Social Security and Medicare. Social Security functions in a very different way than does the civil service retirement program, with many traps lying in wait for the unwary.
Also, the Medicare prescription drug benefit also raises new questions for federal employees and retirees regarding whether they should keep coverage under both programs in retirement - as most have traditionally done - or whether they should instead place all their eggs in the Medicare basket, saving on the cost of maintaining FEHB coverage.
Such developments show that with Social Security and Medicare playing so important a role in their financial futures, federal employees and retirees must understand just what types of benefits they are accumulating, what level of benefits they might stand to receive and what provisions might reduce their benefits, and how those benefits interact with their other benefits--in sum, how to best position themselves to get the most out of the programs and how to protect themselves for the future. In years past, these employees didn't really need to know too much about these programs because they were under a separate retirement and disability benefits package, the Civil Service Retirement System, and didn't stand to get benefits from Social Security. Social Security and Medicare, largely were for somebody else--not them.
NOT ANYMORE. All that changed several years ago and these big changes in the benefits picture are just now hitting home for many federal employees and postal workers--greatly because the "baby-boomers" are approaching retirement now. It's vital that you understand just what types of benefits you're accumulating, what level of benefits and when you stand to receive them, what provisions might reduce or even eliminate them, and how they interact with your other benefits-in sum, how to best position yourselves to get the most out of these two key programs.
Below is a partial table of contents for this informative handbook.
The Future of Social Security and Medicare
Credit for Military Service
The Windfall Elimination Provision
The Government Pension Offset
The Earnings Test
Social Security's Role in Federal Retirement Benefits and Decisions
Social Security and Federal Retirement Disability Benefits
Supplemental Social Security Income
After Benefits Begin
Taxation of Social Security
Administrative Matters and Resources
Hospital Insurance (Part A)
Medical Services (Part B)
Medical Advantage (Part C)
Managed Care Plans
Private Fee-for-Service Plans
Other Alternative Plans
Prescription Drug Program (Part D)
Medicare and FEH
Rights, Protections and Appeals
References and Resources.