Best Estimate for 2018 COLA: 2.2% (by Ralph Smith – FedSmith)

A topic of interest to many current and soon-to-be retired federal employees is the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients and federal retirees. The annual increase has averaged about 1% since 2012. This average includes Social Security and federal retirees not receiving any increase in 2016.

The latest monthly inflation figures have been released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Insofar as this impacts the annual cost-of-living-adjustment to civil service annuities and Social Security recipients, the news may be disappointing.

Read more!

Source: FedSmith

10 House Republicans and 18 Senators Speak Out Against Federal Retirement Cuts (by Nicole Orgysko – Federal News Radio)

More members of Congress are voicing their concerns for recent fiscal 2018 budget proposals that could make significant changes to the federal retirement system for current and future employees and retirees.

Ten House Republicans are appealing to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the leader of the committee that’s been tasked to develop legislative proposals that would reduce the federal deficit by $32 billion over 10 years through reforms to civil service pensions.

“No one needs to remind us of the deficit and debt problem our nation faces, but federal employees are an easy political target,” the 10 members wrote in a July 26 letter. “In more ways than one, they have already repeatedly given at the office. Therefore, we respectfully request that reject any further legislative changes to the federal employee retirement system at this time.”

Read more!

Source: Federal News Radio

EPA’s Early Retirement/Buyout Justifications Reveal How Agency is Reorganizing (By Meredith Somers)

Six Seattle toxicologists, 16 Kansas City chemists,  41 IT managers in Durham, North Carolina, 136 general attorneys from Washington, D.C.

The range of work, employee pay grade and office location runs the gamut when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s early retirement and buyout program, and as the Sept. 2 deadline approaches, more details are coming out on how the agency plans to reduce its workforce to address budget requirements and the government reorganization. Read more

TSP’s 2-month winning streak ends with a slow June (By Nicole Ogrysko)

A slow June saw lower or negative returns for many of the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) after a winning streak in May and April. One retirement fund posted a higher return in June than the previous month, but all others saw noticeably lower decreases or remained virtually unchanged. Read more

Should a Trust be the Beneficiary of Your IRA? Pros and Con

For many Americans, the assets in their Individual Retirement Account represent a significant portion of the wealth they hope to leave to their loved ones. You may have heard that creating a trust and naming it as the beneficiary of your IRA is a good way to direct how your assets are distributed after your death and force your heirs to “stretch” the IRA for generations. However, trusts and inherited IRAs are complex vehicles that have a lot of details to get right. Here are some of the pros and cons of naming a trust as a beneficiary of your IRA:

Read more