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Online Vulcanbill

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Civil Servant?
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:31:51 AM »
Any Fed Govvies out there?  Pro / Con list?  At my age, I could just make 20 years w/ my military time and have a pension at 66.  All hypothetical of course.  Benefits?  Vacation?  I'm assuming they're both boss based on govvies I know.  Enlighten me, please.
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Online zer0netgain

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 07:59:26 AM »
At my age, I could just make 20 years w/ my military time and have a pension at 66.

I'm sure you're aware, but the military seems to be doing all it can to shaft people out of their "pensions" by not letting them get their 20 years.  Don't know how good hiring is in the federal government, but being former military (especially with security clearances) should give you an edge in hiring.
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Offline minimac

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 08:06:48 AM »
 Civil servant.  Boy-that's an oxymoron!
Just a few:
Pros: job security,  decent pay grades, real smarts not required, decent heath benefits, can "buy back" service time for accruing more vacation time and seniority 
Cons: bureaucratic/political bullshit, innovation and/or thinking is frowned upon, Gov't shutdowns means no paycheck, Have to "buy back" to get credit for time spent in the service
old enough to know better

Online Black Hills

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 08:07:24 AM »
My wife is a Gov. employee (ICU nurse at a VA hospital) pay is good, time off is excellent, they mostly self schedule their 12 hour shifts so getting the days off you want is easy, they get to pick  what pension and insurance they want to have (I think the gov. has 3??)  that's the up side. the down side is it's typical gov. nobody gets fired so you have to deal with bottom feeders that never go away and supervisory positions are similar. If someone screws up in one dept. they just transfer them to another (met the new boss same as the old boss). For her anyway the pros outweigh the cons, but it is frustrating and if you don't have the ability to leave work at work it may more stress than it's worth.
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 08:26:31 AM »
Have to "buy back" to get credit for time spent in the service


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If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Online Bounce

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 09:39:09 AM »
Any Fed Govvies out there?  Pro / Con list?  At my age, I could just make 20 years w/ my military time and have a pension at 66.  All hypothetical of course.  Benefits?  Vacation?  I'm assuming they're both boss based on govvies I know.  Enlighten me, please.

I retired after 40 years as a Fed (2 Army + the rest in various DOD and civilian orgs). In 1984 they moved from the CSRS retirement system to FERS. FERS isn't the "pension/retirement" that CSRS was. FERS doesn't have a "pension" per se but it equivalent to a 401K (TSP). CSRS could participate in TSP but there were caps on % employees could contribute and matching funds were limited to something like the first 5%. FERS has no cap on employee contribution and matching % are higher. Also CSRS didn't contribute to SSA but their deduction for the pension was a higher % than SSA is. As a result, without working the requisite quarters to qualify for SSA in jobs other than the government, you don't qualify for SSA or Medicare. FERS contributes to SSA along with their voluntary contribution to TSP. As such, they get their quarters in for SSA and Medicare. FERS is all about self-discipline if you want a bigger retirement.

So a FERS retirement qualifies you for SSA and any bump above that will be a function of how much you put into TSP and how well you manage it.

Feds don't qualify for retirement after 20 years. That's military and cops. Like I said, I retired after 40 and was planning to stay longer to make the numbers better but things worked out so that I was in good shape to leave early when it was clear IT was being ruined by the MBAs in Finance. There's an overlap between earliest retirement and earliest full-benefits retirement. If you go out before earliest-full-retirement, you take (iirc) a 2% per year cut.

The "buy back" is to insert $ you would have put into the retirement system if you'd been working for the fed instead of the military during that time. There's an age where you get your military time without buying it back. If you wait for time in service or age (can't remember right now), then no buy back is required. I'd paid for mine and then learned if I'd waited a few years more I'd not have needed to. That's one reason I retired when I did... so that money wasn't wasted. It's based on what your contribution (FERS/CSRS) would have been at the earnings you made while in the military... PLUS interest. That usually means a lower annual earnings back in those days. I was in between 1974-1976 and my "buy back" was about $5k and was mostly interest on my E1 to E4 pay.

The public's perception of Fed retirement is that we have the same thing as Congress. It's not. Also, we paid a metric buttload into the retirement plan over many decades (more than if we'd been in SSA) based on the contract we signed when hiring in. Changes suggested need always consider that it's too late for those of us who have "done the time" to correct course. Grandfathering should ALWAYS be part of any planned change.

Quote
Under FERS, an employee who meets one of the following age and service requirements is entitled to an immediate retirement benefit: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30 or MRA with 10 (but with reduced benefits).

In those 40 years, I only ever worked with 1 person who fit the stereotypical "under performing" employee. Even then, she met all her PERs goals every year. The difference was she didn't willingly work unapproved overtime to get a critical system going again (at risk of no comp time). I always thought of that approach as "taking ownership" of something to which you were assigned. Like I said, many places, many dedicated people. Those who didn't know a thing were willing to dig in and learn it.

Maybe it's IT that is the key. People are either good at it, get better, or move on.

State and local governments however...
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 10:01:56 AM by Bounce »

Online stevent

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 09:40:24 AM »
I worked for the state for 13 years as a steam engineer at the U-W, my wife works as a Health Tech at an elementary school.

Pretty much what Black Hills said, decent pay, excellent bennies like vacay and sick leave and retirement. We both worked under PERS 2 benefit package, as did her former husband. The downside is as noted, bottom feeders find a home and there are few consequences for even the most egregious fuck-ups.

Honestly the only reason I left and went to private industry is because the job required rotating shifts every month. After 13 years of that I'd had enough. Overall it was a damn good job and I learned a great deal from my experiences there.
"Sure I get the best parking spots, but who could love a man with a wooden leg and a face like a chickens arse?"

Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 11:03:41 AM »
Any Fed Govvies out there?  Pro / Con list?  At my age, I could just make 20 years w/ my military time and have a pension at 66.  All hypothetical of course.  Benefits?  Vacation?  I'm assuming they're both boss based on govvies I know.  Enlighten me, please.

I retired after 40 years as a Fed (2 Army + the rest in various DOD and civilian orgs). In 1984 they moved from the CSRS retirement system to FERS. FERS isn't the "pension/retirement" that CSRS was. FERS doesn't have a "pension" per se but it equivalent to a 401K (TSP). CSRS could participate in TSP but there were caps on % employees could contribute and matching funds were limited to something like the first 5%. FERS has no cap on employee contribution and matching % are higher. Also CSRS didn't contribute to SSA but their deduction for the pension was a higher % than SSA is. As a result, without working the requisite quarters to qualify for SSA in jobs other than the government, you don't qualify for SSA or Medicare. FERS contributes to SSA along with their voluntary contribution to TSP. As such, they get their quarters in for SSA and Medicare. FERS is all about self-discipline if you want a bigger retirement.

So a FERS retirement qualifies you for SSA and any bump above that will be a function of how much you put into TSP and how well you manage it.

Feds don't qualify for retirement after 20 years. That's military and cops. Like I said, I retired after 40 and was planning to stay longer to make the numbers better but things worked out so that I was in good shape to leave early when it was clear IT was being ruined by the MBAs in Finance. There's an overlap between earliest retirement and earliest full-benefits retirement. If you go out before earliest-full-retirement, you take (iirc) a 2% per year cut.

The "buy back" is to insert $ you would have put into the retirement system if you'd been working for the fed instead of the military during that time. There's an age where you get your military time without buying it back. If you wait for time in service or age (can't remember right now), then no buy back is required. I'd paid for mine and then learned if I'd waited a few years more I'd not have needed to. That's one reason I retired when I did... so that money wasn't wasted. It's based on what your contribution (FERS/CSRS) would have been at the earnings you made while in the military... PLUS interest. That usually means a lower annual earnings back in those days. I was in between 1974-1976 and my "buy back" was about $5k and was mostly interest on my E1 to E4 pay.

The public's perception of Fed retirement is that we have the same thing as Congress. It's not. Also, we paid a metric buttload into the retirement plan over many decades (more than if we'd been in SSA) based on the contract we signed when hiring in. Changes suggested need always consider that it's too late for those of us who have "done the time" to correct course. Grandfathering should ALWAYS be part of any planned change.

Quote
Under FERS, an employee who meets one of the following age and service requirements is entitled to an immediate retirement benefit: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30 or MRA with 10 (but with reduced benefits).

In those 40 years, I only ever worked with 1 person who fit the stereotypical "under performing" employee. Even then, she met all her PERs goals every year. The difference was she didn't willingly work unapproved overtime to get a critical system going again (at risk of no comp time). I always thought of that approach as "taking ownership" of something to which you were assigned. Like I said, many places, many dedicated people. Those who didn't know a thing were willing to dig in and learn it.

Maybe it's IT that is the key. People are either good at it, get better, or move on.

State and local governments however...

That is a lot of words.  Thanks for the good info. 
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline DNA

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 02:24:57 PM »
Bill - Didn't you just start a new job recently?

Not as advertised?
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  -You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile- You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife-
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 06:29:29 PM »
Bill - Didn't you just start a new job recently?

Not as advertised?

I did. Quite the opposite actually. I took a gamble on this one. I took a job quite a bit below my “potential” just for the location and the associations. Worst case, I had an easy job with better hours and a good commute (by my standards). Best case, the gamble pays off and people realize my potential isn’t being realized and do something about it. Looks like that’s how it might play out.  A very good thing.
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Online doc4216

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2019, 07:05:04 PM »
At my age, I could just make 20 years w/ my military time and have a pension at 66.

I'm sure you're aware, but the military seems to be doing all it can to shaft people out of their "pensions" by not letting them get their 20 years.  Don't know how good hiring is in the federal government, but being former military (especially with security clearances) should give you an edge in hiring.

I am at 18.5 years and have not witnessed the military doing all it can to shaft good people. I know the AF had a redux in personnel in the mid 2000s but that hasn’t happened since. Plus, they all got compension (at least those I spoke with). The only people getting the boot are ones with NJP, Courts martial, or can’t meet fitness/weight standards.

Bill, I haves bunch  civil servants (GS employees) on my base and they have the best gig in the land!
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Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 07:46:45 AM »
Yeah, this seems like it would be a really good gig. Much to learn tho and of course, any changes would come at the pace of gubmint so patience is key. But talk of a conversion after only a few short weeks is quite a good thing. Would likely mean costly contract buy out as well. Here’s to hoping...
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Online Bounce

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Re: Civil Servant?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 08:55:24 AM »
That is a lot of words.  Thanks for the good info.

The question wasn't the simple one it seems at first blush. To counter the misinformation that's out there in abundance, you detail it and give links.