Federal Retirement Financial Planning

by | Oct 10, 2016

Last Updated April 19, 2024
Financial planner helping a federal employee

financial planningIt is never too early to start thinking about retirement. Planning is key when it comes to this stage of life. Hiring a financial planner is a decision some federal employees choose to make. If this is something you are considering, make sure you find one who knows the difference between retirement in the public sector as opposed to the private sector.


Pensions under both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) are determined by the length of federal service and your High-3 salary. It is not dependent upon stocks and bonds as in some private sector jobs. Your pension is taken as an annuity in federal jobs. There is no lump sum option. The annuity lasts for the rest of your life, so there’s no danger of running out of money, as with a lump sum payment.


Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) are built into the retirement package in the public sector. If you retire under the CSRS retirement system, you receive a full COLA at retirement. FERS annuitants must wait until the age of 62 to being earning a COLA. There are a few exceptions to this including federal disability retirees.

Survivor Benefits

If you don’t select any level of survivor benefits, and you die before your spouse, your spouse would be ineligible to continue with Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB). Another important factor to look at is your spouses’ health benefits. This is especially important if they have their own benefit plan. There could be interactions with your benefits and their benefits.

Look for someone who is a Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant when looking for a financial planner. These people have a special knowledge of the benefits available to you as a federal worker, and they are more likely to help you make an informed decision about retirement from federal service. We have several Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultants on staff here at Harris Federal Law Firm. We know about the benefits that are available to you. If you would like to someone, please call us at 877-226-2723 or fill out this inquiry form.

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

The 4 Key Benefits of Federal Disability Retirement

Imagine a lifeline, a beacon of hope for your future when you're struggling with an injury or illness that’s impacting your federal job. That lifeline is Federal Disability Retirement. If you can't perform at least one of the essential functions of your role, you...

6 Key Reasons Why Your Disability Retirement Application Was Denied

Have you recently applied for Federal Disability Retirement, only to receive a denial? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is denying more initial applications than ever. However, it's important to understand that a denial does not mean the end of the road for...

Federal Employee Resources

Our ever growing library of federal employee resources give you the knowledge you need to make smart choices about your future.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need on-demand, from a team of federal employee benefits professionals.

View FAQ

Federal Benefit Webinars

Twice per month we host webinars to help federal employees better understand their benefits and answer their questions LIVE.

See Webinar Schedule

Benefit Guides

From guides to detailed charts, these educational resources will help clarify confusing federal employee benefits topics.

See our resources