Federal Retirement Benefits Articles
by Edward A. Zurndorfer

Edward A. Zurndorfer is a contributing author to My Federal Retirement.

Ed is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).  an instructor of many federal employee retirement seminars across the country and is an author of numerous books on federal retirement. Ed is also a retired federal employee with 32 years of service at the Department of Commerce, and a former columnist for the Federal Times.

You can receive Ed's columns free by email (which are included in the My Federal Retirement email alerts) by simply entering your email address below:

Guide to Children Survivor Benefits Upon the Death of an Employee or an Annuitant
Edward A. Zurndorfer, CFP
Learn how a child qualifies for a monthly survivor benefit, when the child is eligible to receive benefits, and what information must be provided to OPM. Also included are the forms you need and a practical example. [ MORE ]

Unlike WEP, Little Movement in Congress to Modify Government Pension Offset (GPO)
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - May 19, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses in more detail what the GPO is, Congress' rationale in passing it into law, and how the GPO affects some federal annuitants [ MORE ]

Delaying Retirement and Receipt of Social Security Can Preserve Your TSP Account
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner
For federal employees, deciding when to retire, what age to start claiming Social Security retirement benefits, and at what age to start withdrawing their Thrift Savings Plan account involves a complex personal financial analysis. Federal benefits expert Ed Zurndorfer examines how delaying one's retirement date and the start of Social Security retirement benefits can help preserve an employee's TSP account -- minimizing the possibility that he or she "outlives" it [ MORE ]

Bill to Reform the Windfall Elimination Provision Has Good Chance of Becoming Law
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - May 11, 2016
If passed, the law will reduce the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) penalty on an affected individual's Social Security benefits. Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses the reduction in the WEP penalty as directed in H.R. 711 -- plus reviews what the WEP is, who it affects, and why Congress passed the WEP into law 33 years ago [ MORE ]

Federal Public Safety Employees Can Make Penalty-Free TSP Withdrawals Starting at Age 50
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - May 03, 2016
The Defending Public Safety Employees Retirement Act of 2015 amended the Internal Revenue Code to allow specified federal law enforcement officers, customs and border protection officers, federal firefighters and air traffic controllers who separate from service during or after the year they become age 50 to make withdrawals from the TSP without incurring a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses what the new law means to federal employees who are eligible to take advantage of the new law [ MORE ]

8 Strategies for Federal Employees Planning to Retire in the Next 5 Years
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner
For many federal employees, their retirement date comes sooner than they may have expected and before they may have had a chance to fully prepare. Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, outlines the most common areas that need to be addressed by federal employees who plan to retire within the next five years [ MORE ]

Tax Consequences of TSP Withdrawals: Traditional and Roth
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner
Federal benefits and tax expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses how the tax treatment of a Thrift Savings Plan participant's withdrawal depends in part on the "type" of money that the participant has in their TSP account -- a traditional (non-Roth) TSP balance, a Roth TSP balance, or both [ MORE ]

Considerations for Choosing the Traditional TSP or the Roth TSP
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner
Which TSP account is better suited for your needs? Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses some considerations for federal employees in choosing to contribute to the traditional TSP or the Roth TSP option [ MORE ]

First IRA Required Minimum Distribution Deadline is April 1 for Some Federal Employees
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - March 29, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses the rules for traditional IRAs and how they affect federal employees older than age 70 [ MORE ]

Tax-Filing Season Is a Good Time to Review Roth IRA Strategies
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - March 17, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses several strategies: Roth IRA contributions, Roth IRA conversions, Roth IRA recharacterizations and "backdoor" Roth IRA conversions [ MORE ]

High-3 Average Salary: What Is It and How Is It Calculated?
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner
All retiring federal employees will receive an annuity that is computed based on their length of federal service and their high-three average salaries. Learn what it is, and how it's calculated. Includes helpful examples. [ MORE ]

Tax Strategies in a Down Stock Market
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - March 01, 2016
The downturn in the stock market has shocked many federal employees -- who've seen up to a 15 percent decrease in the value of their Thrift Savings Plan accounts. Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, explains why now is a good time to review some tax strategies to perhaps lessen the pain of a down stock market [ MORE ]

The Elimination of the Social Security 'File and Suspend' Strategy Also Affects Single Individuals
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - February 08, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses why "file and suspend" can also be advantageous for those single individuals who reach their full retirement age by April 30, 2016 [ MORE ]

Many Federal Employees and Annuitants Are Affected by New Social Security Rules
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - January 26, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses what the end of "file and suspend" and "restrict an application" means to federal employees, annuitants, as well as to their spouses and families [ MORE ]

Best Dates to Retire for CSRS and FERS Employees During 2016, 2017 and 2018
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - January 04, 2016
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses the best dates for CSRS and FERS employees during 2017 and 2018, with an updated discussion for best retirement dates during 2016 [ MORE ]

December 31st Deadline Approaching for 2015 Nonspousal IRA Beneficiary MRD
Edward A. Zurndorfer, Certified Financial Planner - December 23, 2015
Federal benefits expert, Ed Zurndorfer, discusses the minimum required distributions rules for nonspousal IRA beneficiaries and why these beneficiaries should be aware of the soon-to-be 2015 MRD deadline of December 31, 2015 [ MORE ]

More Articles More Articles