AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Tammy Flanagan

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.

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 NITPInc.com.

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Crediting Volunteer Service

May 25, 2007 In last week's column, I noted that when it comes to figuring out just how much federal service you've accumulated for retirement purposes, not all service is treated the same. This week, we'll look at one type of service: volunteer participation in the Peace Corps or VISTA programs. Next week, ...

Computing Your Service

May 18, 2007 If I asked you to explain your service computation date, you might be able to tell me some things about it. Maybe you would know that there are different kinds of SCDs. Maybe you could say that you have had continuous service throughout your government career and your SCD date ...

Retirement Estimate: The Details

May 11, 2007 As promised in my last column, this week we'll get into a little more detail about how your basic retirement benefit is calculated. Even in this column, though, I won't be able to fill you in on every step in the process. But I'll try to provide an overview so ...

Basic Retirement Computations

May 4, 2007 In last week's column, we opened our discussion of the importance of estimating your future retirement benefits. You should request a retirement estimate from your agency's human resources office at least a year before you plan to retire. This estimate will be prepared by a trained retirement specialist who works ...

Estimating Your Benefits

April 27, 2007 In my travels to various federal agencies, I've found that employees are trying desperately to understand their retirement benefits and would love to be able to project their retirement income. Often, they are very dependent on the assistance of retirement specialists at their agencies to explain the intricacies of various ...

TSP Withdrawal Quiz

April 13, 2007 Based on the responses to last week's column on two of the Thrift Savings Plan withdrawal options, some of you still want to know which is the "best" choice. Well, here's one thing I've learned in my experience as a federal benefits specialist. Never give advice to an employee on ...

Life Expectancy vs. Life Annuity

April 6, 2007 If you want to get withdrawals from your Thrift Savings Plan account in the form of monthly payments, you have two options: Take a life annuity or get monthly payments based on your life expectancy. There seems to be some confusion about how each of these works. So let's take ...

Back to Work, Again

March 30, 2007 Last week's column on what happens if you seek to return to federal work after retirement sure generated a lot of reaction. So I decided it would be worth exploring the subject again, and looking specifically at how the rules have changed at the Defense Department. First, here are some ...

Back to Work

March 23, 2007 For some federal employees, the idea of retiring from a government job but continuing to work is appealing. But what if that work takes you right back to a civil service position? It does happen. Some feds even retire on a Friday and return to the same office on Monday. ...

Service Interruption

March 16, 2007 The Iraq War has caused many civilian federal employees who serve as military reservists and National Guard members to be called up to active duty. Since the war started in 2003, I've received lots of questions regarding how such military service is treated when a veteran returns to the civilian ...