Changes for 2008

By Tammy Flanagan

January 11, 2008

Every year, there are changes in the way Social Security, Medicare and federal retirement benefits are calculated. Likewise, there are changes affecting federal salaries, the Thrift Savings Plan and other programs.

Let's take a look at some of the specific changes this year.


Last week, President Bush issued an executive order implementing a 3.5 percent average white-collar federal pay increase for 2008. Updated pay tables are available here.

Social Security

Medicare Part B


Here's the rundown on annual changes to the two federal retirement systems:

Thrift Savings Plan

The Internal Revenue Service annual limit on what employees can contribute to their thrift accounts will be $15,500 for tax year 2008, the same as in 2007. FERS employees need to be sure not to exceed the $15,500 limit before the end of the year so they won't lose matching agency contributions. Some employees will have 27 pay periods in 2008 instead of 26. You can find additional information on these limits on the TSP Web site. The limit on catch-up contributions for 2008 also remains unchanged at $5,000.

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.

By Tammy Flanagan

January 11, 2008