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Demystifying Federal Benefits: Why I Work With Federal Employees

Demystifying Federal Benefits: Why I Work With Federal Employees

| December 14, 2021
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Just as you wouldn’t want a plumber examining your medical chart and determining your diagnosis, you don’t want just anybody assessing your employee benefits and guiding your financial life. Something as important as health or finances should be handled by someone who has the knowledge and practical experience to understand your specific situation.

Our goal at Bridgerland Financial is to build strong, trusted relationships with our clients. That’s why we tailor our services to fit the unique needs of federal employees. By focusing our services and attention on this specific group, we can better serve our clients so that they can experience financial fulfilment both now and in retirement. Here’s why we’re passionate about working with government employees.

Federal Benefits Are Complicated

I’ll say it again: federal benefit plans are complicated and the employees who rely on them are often underserved when it comes to their benefits. Many federal agencies offer multi-day seminars for employees nearing retirement, but a couple of days hardly seems enough to explain the nuances of the benefits you’ve been earning for 30+ years. 

FERS, CSRS, FEHB, TSP: these are just a handful of the various plans you have to navigate as a federal employee. It can be difficult to keep track of all the requirements and deadlines, not to mention the updates that happen year after year! 

We are dedicated to researching, understanding, and explaining the complexities of government benefits to our clients, so that they can be up-to-date on all the latest changes. Be sure to check out our previous post about the top 3 things to know for 2022. Whether you just started contributing to your Thrift Savings Plan or you’re getting ready to submit your retirement application, we have the knowledge to guide you toward a strong financial future.

Mistakes Are Common

Because of the complexity of federal benefits, it is very common for plan participants to make mistakes in the paperwork. With a persistent backlog of retirement applications and an average processing time of 95 days, (1) applying for federal retirement benefits is already time-consuming. The last thing you want is for your application to be further delayed due to some obscure clerical error. 

This is the unfortunate reality for many federal employees. 

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released an analysis of the most common application mistakes, which showed that the number one mistake (12.7%) was failing to have the application signed by a certifying payroll officer. (2)

Considering OPM received 8,000 retirement applications in October, a mistake rate of 12.7% means 1,016 applications were delayed in that month alone. We think this is an outrageous number! You’ve worked hard for your retirement, and we’re passionate about making sure you get your full benefit amount in a reasonable time. That’s why we offer help with retirement paperwork at no extra cost. If you want an extra set of eyes to look over your application, click here to learn more.

Retire With Confidence

As a federal employee, you’ve dedicated your life to public service. You deserve to retire with confidence when it comes to your financial future. Knowing when to retire is one of the biggest questions we get from our clients. It’s hard enough figuring out when you’re ready to retire emotionally and physically, let alone when you’re financially able to retire. 

We help our clients answer this question by using a comprehensive FERS benefit analysis, which compares various scenarios to project:

  • What your FERS benefits will be 
  • What your supplemental benefits will be
  • What your net income will be
  • How all of these numbers compare if you retire now vs. retire in a couple of years

By projecting this information in the lead-up to retirement, we’re able to make real-time adjustments to your financial plan so that you can be sure you’re retiring at the best time.

How We Can Help

At Bridgerland Financial, our goal is to help federal employees thrive in retirement. Through a comprehensive process that looks at all aspects of your financial picture, we help you build a solid plan that you can count on. With educational videos, FERS benefit analysis, and help with retirement paperwork, we offer the tools you need to maximize your federal benefits. If you’re ready to stop second-guessing about your benefits and start feeling confident about your financial future, schedule an appointment online or reach out to us at david.packer@bridgetoretire.com or (435) 535-1630.

About David

David Packer is founder and financial advisor at Bridgerland Financial, an independently managed financial firm in Utah. With 20 years of industry experience, David serves his clients by helping them bridge the gap between their working years and their retirement. He provides tailored, comprehensive financial plans to his business owner and individual clients so they can retire with confidence. David has a bachelor’s degree in finance and holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, CRPC® credential. Outside of the office, David loves to spend time with his wife and five kids and stay involved in his community. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Melonie, spent years as foster parents and eventually adopted their foster children. David loves playing and watching all kinds of sports, including officiating high school sports, and won’t turn down a good board or card game. Learn more about David by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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(1) https://www.opm.gov/about-us/budget-performance/strategic-plans/retirement-processing-status.pdf

(2) https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2021/08/why-does-it-take-so-long-get-your-benefits/184478/

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