Retirement Planning Retirement PlanningRetirement Planning
Advice on how to prepare for life after government.

Annual Retirement Quiz

In 2006, I devoted my final column of the year to testing your retirement knowledge. This year, I thought it would be fun to revisit that tradition. I'm betting that many of you will do quite well on the quiz. As for the others…well, New Year's resolution time is right around the corner. It might be time to work on raising your retirement IQ.
  1. The Civil Service Retirement Act established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government in _______.
    a. 1881
    b. 1920
    c. 1935
    d. 1984
  2. The Social Security Amendments of _______ required all federal employees hired after that year to participate in Social Security. The amendments also required all members of Congress to participate in Social Security after that date, regardless of when they first entered Congress.
    a. 1920
    b. 1987
    c. 2007
    d. 1983
  3. Over the next two decades, nearly _______ million Americans will become eligible for Social Security benefits -- more than 10,000 per day.
    a. 10
    b. 20
    c. 40
    d. 80
  4. In 2007, almost _______ million Americans will receive a total of more than $585 billion in Social Security benefits.
    a. 35
    b. 80
    c. 50
    d. 10
  5. Unless changes are made, for those reaching age 60 in 2040, Social Security benefits could be cut by _______ percent and could continue to be reduced every year thereafter.
    a. 50
    b. 10
    c. 26
    d. 72
  6. The current employee rate for basic coverage under the Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance program is 15 cents per $1,000 on a biweekly basis. When FEGLI started in 1954, the employee share of the premium was _______ cents per $1,000.
    a. 5
    b. 10
    c. 25
    d. 50
  7. Federal retirees currently make up _______ percent of enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
    a. 0
    b. 7.5
    c. 80
    d. 40
  8. The Thrift Savings Plan's common stock (C) fund tracks the S&P 500 Index Fund. This index includes 500 companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. As of Sept. 30, 2007, more than 10 percent of the weight of this fund was held by which four U.S. corporations?
    a. Wal-Mart Stores, Target, Home Depot, Google
    b. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, AT&T, Microsoft
    c. Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson, Cisco Systems, Home Depot
    d. Bank of America, Wal-Mart Stores, IBM, Google
  9. The TSP's life-cycle funds (L 2040, L 2030, L 2020 and L 2010), are aimed at participants with retirement dates that roughly correspond to the dates in the fund names. When a fund reaches its time horizon, it will roll into the L_______ Fund, and a new fund will be added with a more distant time horizon.
    a. 2010
    b. 2050
    c. Income
    d. 2040
  10. If the 2007 FEHBP open season is similar to previous years, _______ percent of current enrollees will have switched health plans.
    a. 75
    b. 25
    c. 5
    d. 50

Are you ready for the answers? Then click here. (If that doesn't work, try clicking here).

Tammy Flanagan is the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc., which conducts federal retirement planning workshops and seminars. She has spent 25 years helping federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits.


Tammy Flanagan has spent 30 years helping federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits. She runs her own consulting business at and provides individual counseling as well as online training for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Plan Your Federal Retirement as well as the Federal Long Term Care insurance Program. She also serves as the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc., which conducts federal retirement planning workshops and seminars.

For more retirement planning help, tune in to "For Your Benefit," presented by the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc. live on Federal News Radio on Mondays at 10 a.m. ET on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington-metro area. Archived shows are available on

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