Q. If I take the $15,000 retirement incentive being offered now, (I have 25 years under FERS, am a Postal Service employee, and am 64 years old), will my Blue Cross premiums go up? If so, by how much? I now pay $81.68 a month.
Also, if I decide to get married, my family option now would be $203.61 a month. How much would these premiums be if I take the retirement incentive? I must make the decision by Dec. 3.
Is the FERS pension amount taxed? If so, is it taxed by income and Federal Insurance Contributions Act? My gross pension amount is $1,288 a month. How much, approximately, would be left over after taxes and health care subtractions?
A. The easiest way to compare the cost of your Blue Cross/Blue Shield Standard premiums is to show you the difference between what Postal Service and non-Postal Service employees will be paying in 2013.
A Postal Service employee would pay $64.71 every two weeks for self-only coverage and $152.92 for self and family. A non-Postal Service employee would pay $85.71 for self-only and $200.14 for self and family.
When a Postal Service employee retires, his health benefits premiums are the same as those for all other non-Postal Service employees and retirees. And they are paid on a monthly, rather than a biweekly basis. In 2013, the BC/BS monthly rate for retirees will be $186.14 (self-only) and $438.63 (self and family). To find out how your annuity would be taxed, go to www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p721.pdf, and read the Internal Revenue Service’s Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits.