Workshop equips DOD employees for retirement

By Airman 1st Class Jessica Blair | Feb. 2, 2018


Civilian employees from the Joint Base MDL community attended a Federal Employees Retirement System seminar at the Timmermann Center here, Jan. 30.

The civilian retirement workshop is designed to equip government employees with the information and resources to successfully prepare for their retirement and get the most out of the benefits that are available to them.

“For a while they stopped offering these types of professional development activities for civilians due to sequestration and money constraints, but the need never went away,” said Steven Bassett, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center academic curriculum director and workshop attendee. “I believe that you never stop professionally developing and never stop learning and this is one of those stepping stones to get you through your career.”

The seminar focused on a range of different topics involving federal civilians’ retirement including calculating pension amounts and applicable deductions; social security; health insurance; life insurance; long-term care insurance; dental and vision insurance; and the Thrift Saving Program. They then expanded on what benefits are available for them today while they are working as government employees and how those will change after they retire.

“It’s beneficial because a lot of people seem to be under the misguided impression that they are just going to retire one day and that everything will work out, and that’s not true,” said Deborah Hatch, Federal Employees Retirement System workshop instructor. “There’s a lot of paper work that needs to be done, and a lot of planning that they need to do ahead of time, so this class is important for that reason.”

 During a recent survey, top respondents expressed a desire for more information regarding civilian retirement, so the Civilian Professionalism Development Program, led by Dr. Roderick Davis, 87th Air Base Wing executive director, coordinated with 87th Force Support Squadron personnel to offer quarterly retirement seminars. The class is open to all Defense Department civilian employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System or the Civil Service Retirement System.

“There are so many people on this base that are looking to retire and they will end up seeking information about retirement, so we are meeting their needs,” said Scott Gericke, 87th Force Support Squadron force development flight chief.

The knowledge and resources provided at the workshop left civilian government employees more informed about when and how to start their individual retirement process.

“Knowledge is power,” said Bassett. “Already this morning, I’ve seen lots of people that have raised their hands and asked questions based off of assumptions that are false.  To have an expert here who can address those assumptions, correct them and then educate the whole crowd so that they don’t follow the trail of those false assumptions, is just priceless.”

For more information about when and where the quarterly workshops will be held please contact Roderick Davis, 87th Air Base Wing executive director at (609) 754-5680.