UNCASVILLE, CT, April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Research by the Federal government suggests a serious knowledge gap among Federal employees when it comes to understanding, measuring and maximizing their multiple benefit programs.
To help close this gap, Dennis Edmonds, Managing Partner of the Federal Benefits Information Center (“FBIC”), spoke at a recent conference of the United Postmasters and Managers Association (“UPMA”).
Edmonds was a platform speaker for the Connecticut and Rhode Island Chapters of the United Postmasters and Managers Association 2018 Annual Conference. The event was held on April 6 and 7, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. UPMA has chapters in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. UPMA is committed to the job protection, professional development, and political advocacy of U.S. Postal Employees.
As a Federal Benefits Consultant, Edmonds specializes in retirement planning and financial strategies for Federal employees. He holds the Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant℠ designation–a prestigious designation held by less than one percent of all retirement and financial professionals in the U.S.
Edmonds’ UPMA speech was on “Planning for Your Future with Your Federal Benefits Analysis.” He highlighted the value of having an analysis done to see where a Federal employee has been, evaluate where that employee currently stands, and determine what they want to achieve before retirement.
Edmonds shared key updates to Federal benefits programs. He acknowledged that benefits uncertainty is likely to grow with the Thrift Savings Plan Modernization Act being passed in November of 2017, which changed distribution options within the Thrift Savings Plan. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is currently updating policies and procedures in accordance with the legislation.
Edmondshas spent years counseling Federal employees on their personalized benefits. He sympathizes with what Federal employees can be facing. “It may be difficult to understand all of your federal benefits, let alone their requirements and complexities,” Edmonds says. “Incomplete forms, missed deadlines, misunderstood elections, or poor timing could mean as much as thousands of dollars lost over a Federal career.”
The retirement resources offered by the individual benefit programs receive mixed reviews from Federal employees seeking assistance, Edmonds explains. According to a 2016 study by the Government Business Council, only 42% of Federal employees surveyed indicate that they feel prepared or very prepared for retirement. Another 42% feel somewhat prepared, and 15% feel not very or not at all prepared.
The report concluded,“Agencies have yet to expand their range of offered employee resources: while most agencies offer classes or workshops to aid employees with retirement planning, few offer personal counseling, professional financial planning assistance, and other potential resources.”
Edmonds says he is not surprised by the study findings. “What really stands out to me is the lack of a cohesive, comprehensive analysis,” he says. “No agency provides their employee their income computations (FERS/CSRS annuity, TSP and Social Security) to help give that employee the opportunity to make their best-informed decision on when and how to retire.”
He invites all Federal employees to request a free Federal Employee Benefits Analysis by visiting the FBIC website: https://www.federalbenefitsinfo.com/services/federal-benefit-analysis/.
Any Federal employee is eligible to request a free analysis that provides:
- Detailed, in-depth calculations and insights into an employee’s benefits now and in the future.
- Present and future values of their pension, TSP account, Social Security benefits, even FEGLI benefits.
- Forecasts for future monthly income, life coverage, survivor benefits, and other benefits at different ages.
- Potential discovery that they may be able to retire earlier than expected.
- Potential discovery that they may want to work longer to achieve a financially confident retirement.
Federal employees can also request personal benefits guidance by calling FBIC at 727-537-6702.
Edmonds also notes there is a need on the financial consultant side, with the Federal workforce aging, as the Office of Personnel Management has noted. For qualifying financial professionals interested in entering or growing their business in this space, Federal Benefits Information Center offers an exclusive Advisor Program. This program gives financial professionals access to much-needed support, resources, and training to properly and efficiently serve Federal employees. More information can be found at: https://www.federalbenefitsinfo.com/advisor-program.
“Contact us about what you need and we will be glad to help you. We look forward to speaking with you soon!” Edmonds concluded. ###