Help with Federal Benefits

MTSUCTI

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2011
196
0
16
I just got my benefits packet and wanted to know if there was any advise out there about which provider to pick. Also is the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) a good investment strategy for retirement?

Thanks
 

MTSUCTI

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2011
196
0
16
The state my facility is located in is TN. However, if I live in AR or MS does that change my options?
 

STL2CVG

Senior Analyst
Feb 2, 2009
889
2
18
Cincinnati
Are you at the academy? They should go over all this with you on your first day.

I use Blue Cross Blue Shield as my health care provider. And yes the TSP is a good investment for your retirement. As of right now, the gov matches up to 5% of what you put in. I think the federal cap on what you can put in in a year is $16,500. But I would have to check.

What I am doing as I progess in training is slowly moving it up to where when I get fully certified, I will have my TSP maxed out. So I will never see the increases, there for I won't miss the money. I started off with just 5%, now i'm up to 8%.
 

MTSUCTI

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2011
196
0
16
My class date is not till December 29. I was just getting a head start. I like the idea of changing your contribution % as your pay increases.

Thanks for the help.
 

mbalunda

Epic Member
Jan 31, 2009
2,867
15
38
I just went with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Pretty much every Dr I've ever needed to see takes it, and it's a federal program so it's good in all states.

The TSP changing is a good idea, I've been meaning to do that as my pay increases but I never seem to get around to it :(
 

UNDgrad06

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,309
14
38
Peachtree City, GA
I guess you are going to memphis. Anyway regarding health benefits, there are a bunch of national plans (BCBS, etc.) and there are some state specific plans. I work at ZME and live in MS. I have BCBS and it is pretty much taken everywhere around here. They have Basic vs. Standard, and even though they sound the same which ever is more expensive generally has almost no co pay or a smaller co pay and covers a higher percentage of things.

TSP is a good investment, generally because the FAA matches 5%. Even though technically I think they match your first 3% dollar for dollar and then the next 2% they match half. So you put in 5% they put in 4%. Other than that if you are into choosing mutual funds and investing, then obviously the TSP is limited in what it can do. If the market sucks you drop to the G fund which is basically automatically gonna make like 1% or less. When it is going better you move to the other funds that will be more aggressive.

Best advice is to atleast put in 5% to get the max matching for the FAA. Then as you get more comfortable in you finanaces max it out when possible. The key is that it is taken out before taxes, meaning that if you put in 10% you really are only losing 7% in take home pay.
 

patrick0685

Junior Member
Jun 27, 2008
92
0
6
NV
www.centpoker.com
TSP is a good investment, generally because the FAA matches 5%. Even though technically I think they match your first 3% dollar for dollar and then the next 2% they match half. So you put in 5% they put in 4%. Other than that if you are into choosing mutual funds and investing, then obviously the TSP is limited in what it can do. If the market sucks you drop to the G fund which is basically automatically gonna make like 1% or less. When it is going better you move to the other funds that will be more aggressive.

Best advice is to atleast put in 5% to get the max matching for the FAA. Then as you get more comfortable in you finanaces max it out when possible. The key is that it is taken out before taxes, meaning that if you put in 10% you really are only losing 7% in take home pay.
they only match 4% but they automatically give you 1% so thats where you get the complete 5%
 

CISUM113

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2009
130
1
18
CHI
How do those forms work that they send you? Am i under the right impression that i should just print out the completed pdf and bring it with me to class, and on the first day we'll go over it all and fill it in/ turn it in then?
 

Justin636

Rookie
Oct 30, 2011
28
0
1
How do those forms work that they send you? Am i under the right impression that i should just print out the completed pdf and bring it with me to class, and on the first day we'll go over it all and fill it in/ turn it in then?

Having this same issue... I was told by my HR rep that I should have the forms completed within 24 hours but this was not feasible with the holiday and such and a lot of the forms are somewhat confusing?? She tells me to complete within 24 hours, but the forms say I have 60 days, others say I have to electronically sign them, and others it's not allowed (even though the option is still there)...

Also one of the forms won't even load for me... Beneficiary declarations or whatever.

:)
 

spades

What's happening?
Apr 20, 2009
794
10
18
Just fill out what you can on EODS and then wait for the rest. Unless your class starts on a Friday where the pay period ends on Saturday, you won't need to worry about filling out your insurance that day.

Your insurance doesn't start until the Sunday after the pay period ends (bi-weekly). The current pay period ends on 12/3 so figure out your class date. Also, you don't need to have your elections completed by the end of your first pay period -- it's just beneficial if you do that way your benefits start as soon as possible.
 

UNDATCer

Trusted Member
Apr 5, 2009
382
0
16
North Dakota
I was reading the information sent with my FOL and it says the FAA will match me dollar for dollar for the first 3% of my TSP and then 50% on the next 2% I put in. I was under the impression that the FAA matched dollar for dollar on the first 5%... I must have been mistaken. My question is, has it always been that way or is that something that has recently changed with that other two percent? Certainly not complaining, just curious. Thanks!!