Posted on Friday, 15th January 2016 by

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As of January 1, 2016, FEGLI premiums for many options and age brackets changed due to actuarial adjustments. Annuitants that carried FEGLI coverage into retirement will receive a Notice of Annuity Adjustment showing the new rates.

Most of the new FEGLI rates for Option A, B and C decrease. The older age band rates for Options A, B and C increase including retirees basic insurance rates with 50% reduction and the no reduction rates.

If retirees elected the 75% reduction your premium is waived when you reach age 65. However, retirees that are 65 or older and didn’t elect a 75% reduction or ones that carried other FEGLI options into retirement for Family or multiples will still receive an adjustment notice. The new rates mostly impact the age brackets

It’s important to note that you can reduce or cancel coverage at any time but annuitants cannot increase coverage, even during the upcoming open season scheduled for September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. If you elect to reduce or cancel all or any part of your FEGLI coverage, that election is irrevocable.

The upcoming open season is an excellent time for active federal employees to evaluate their insurance needs and add to or modify their existing coverage. Linda Sherman wrote an article titled “A Life Insurance Check-up: Evaluating Your Insurance Needs” that can help you determine what coverage to carry.

Some retirees opt not to carry FEGLI insurance into retirement. I personally would keep the basic at the 75% reduction as a minimum because at age 65 the premium is waived. There is also advantages to carrying Family and Option A as well because they are low cost and the family Option C does provide basic coverage for your spouse and dependents in retirement as well. The Part B multiples get very expensive as you age and there are lower cost options available if needed. Look closely at your options before deciding what is best for you and yours. Here are links to three articles that I wrote, before they announced the 2016 Open Season, on the FEGLI options that you may find helpful:

Social Security Changes

I mentioned in a recent article the changes made to Social Security’s file and suspend option this year for those at their full retirement age of 66. This option permits a higher earning spouse, that’s currently not receiving benefits, to file for benefits and immediately suspend them so their spouse can take a higher spousal benefit. This option allows a lower earning spouse to collect the higher earners benefit while the higher earner lets their benefit grow 8% a year until they apply up to age 70. Other changes are also discussed in the previous article that may impact you when filing for benefits this year.

This option, under the new law, will no longer be available later this year. Our local Social Security office was so busy that we couldn’t get an appointment for several months and had to make a telephone appointment to file before the cutoff. If you are eligible for this option and considering applying call early for an appointment.

Nice to Know

I have an iPhone 5 and was having problems charging it for the past three months or so. I’m sure this problem could develop in just about any phone that you carry in your pocket or purse. Every time I plugged in the charger the connection was intermittent and I would often go back to find it hadn’t charged. Just by moving the connector to either side or by pushing it forcefully into the USB phone jack it would connect most times. I tried a new cord and charger and the problem persisted. I thought that I may have to replace the phone due to a defective phone jack.

After closely inspecting the phone USB jack I discovered debris in the connector. I turned off the phone and used a tooth pick to gently remove what seemed to be more pocket lint than you could possibly imagine. After removing the lint the problem resolved and my phone now charges quickly and seems to hold the charge longer.

If you have a cell phone charging problem look at your USB charging connector to see if there is lint buildup. Be careful not to damage the connector if you use a toothpick to dislodge the lint.

Request a Retirement Benefits Summary & Analysis. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment or benefit recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment or benefit decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal, benefit, or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment or benefit research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of various federal benefits and potential investment in securities of the TSP and companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that retirees, potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment and benefit research of their own, including detailed review of OPM guidance for benefit issues and for investments the companies’ SEC filings, and consult a qualified investment advisor. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice. The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.

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