The Government Retirement Benefits Platform for Non-VAMC Employees
Paul: Hello, my name is Paul Thornton and I’m an employee of United Benefits and during this segment today we’re going to actually talk about your GRB platform.
The GRB platform is a wonderful resource that you can use to do anything from your retirement paperwork to even find out what you’re going to be making on retirement in the future. So let’s get into it. The most important thing we need to do right now is set up your password so you can get into the GRB platform.
We have an example here on the GRB platform through IRS, and what would we’ll do there is you actually can go in on this website for the GRB platform to actually set up your password. You can also Google it, so you could actually go out on your internet, hit Google, do “GRB platform login.” It’s going to bring up the same identical information. You can do this from a computer from your home.
And then after this I’m going to show you that you can also do this on your work computer, which is really the easiest way to set up your password for your GRB platform: this Government Retirement Benefits platform. The first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to be prompted to create a new account and then you’re going to be asked for your identity. You’re going to be asked for your social security number, your first and last name, your date of birth, and then you have to use your work email address.
So it’ll be, if you are an IRS employee, it’s going to be your IRS email address. That is also going to be your ID number when you actually log into the GRB platform. Now, only IRS– there is a license number that you will use, it is number 1112. If you are in another government agency, there will be different license numbers that you will use to set up your password. If you’re going to do the work, you’re going to bring up this IRS source page.
You will notice when you bring up your IRS source page, you’re going to go in under employee resources. You click on it. Once you click on the resource place, you’re going to go down where it says retirement. You click on retirement, then you click on retirement again. Once you hit on this, then it’s going to bring you up this page and you’re going to go on the bottom where it says create a new account.
Once you get to this, that’s where you put your social security, your first, your last name, your date of birth, and your email address. It’s going to be your government email address. On our example, of course we’re using IRS, but it will be whatever government agency that you’re with to do the GRB platform. Once you put this information in, it will prompt you to actually set up a password.
Once you’ve set up a password, then it’s going to send you an email, a confirmation that you’ve done this, and then you can actually log in to the GRB platform. Your username, which I call an ID, is going to be your IRS email address under our example and then the password is the one you just set up. Once you have logged in, this dashboard comes up and as you can see on the GRB platform, it talks about not only retirement but other benefits that you have through the federal government.
But it also even talks about things like social security, which I think it’s a cool way of finding out where you stand and what you’re going to be making in the future. If you’re ready to retire, it’s going to give you information on how to retire. If you have you just started work, it’s going to give you an idea of what you’re going to be making in retirement in the future. So as you look at this dashboard, you will notice the things at the top.
The number one thing of course people are going to look at is going to be under the retirement. Just to start this, we’re going to start talking about retirement. You will just click on the retirement box at the top and this GRB platform comes up. What is unique about this page, there are actually four things you can do on this page. If you will notice under retirement calculator in the red at the top, this is where you can actually click and go into it and it will give you an estimate of what you’re going to be making on your first paycheck, which is called either your civil service or your first monthly annuity.
The second red one is your high-three calculator, which will actually give you a high three estimate of what your salary is going to be. The third one says severance and the VSIP. VSIP is a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. Basically, this is a buyout. So if your agency’s going through RIF, a reduction in force, you can click on it. It’s going to give you an idea of how much you’re going to be earning on that reduction in force, how much of a buyout you’re going to get.
The retirement dashboard at the bottom is the line you’re going to click on if you’re going to do your retirement paperwork; and people talk about all the time how hard it is to do your retirement paperwork. This makes going through your retirement paperwork a breeze. We’re actually going to click on this retirement dashboard and go through this pretty quick. Basically, it’s going to come up, it is going to tell you when you could actually retire.
You have to be within nine months of retirement for you to actually be able to go in and do your retirement paperwork. You can do this retirement paperwork, but you do not have to send it in once it’s done. You can send this retirement paperwork in between 45 and 60 days is what they are suggesting that you send it in. Once you click on this page, you’re going to put in basically a date when you’re going to retire.
What I like to tell people at this point, if you’re putting in a date of separation, it’s not locked in stone. So if you come back and decide you want to change this, you’ll be able to change this, and I’m going to show you where that’s going to be on the next slides. This is what’s going to come up. You will notice that all of these have red flags. To do your retirement paperwork, you’ve got to turn all these red flags green.
I’m just going to walk through a few of these because United Benefits has got counselors at your locations all the time and if you have problems with this, we’ll be happy to sit down with you one-on-one and actually walk you through your retirement paperwork. I did almost 300 of these last year and we can do these in 15 minutes, folks. This is a wonderful resource, this Government Retirement Benefit Platform.
Your identifying information will actually come up. When you click on this, basically it’s going to ask you your name, it’s going to show you your name, your social security number. You’re going to need to put in an actual phone number, a good time to be reached– which, you basically just need to say any time, and then it asks if you’re a USA citizen or not. Once you say yes there, you can go to your next one which is employment.
When you do the employment, this is where you put down what agency you work for and then they need your physical address. Put your physical address down. Of course, your state zip code. You see there where it says date of final separation, that was where we put that in to start with. You could always come back to the second flag and you can change that date of final separation if you decide to change and go out in a later or an earlier date into retirement.
You put in your position and then you’re going to have to put it your occupational series and folks, that is a four digit number. If your occupational series is a 592, you’ll put in 0592 and you will actually put that in there and then you hit done and you go to the next page and it turns the flag green. They’ll ask if you’ve had military service, you say yes or no. Then they will ask you for your insurance information. Insurance information? Easy. It says, “Are you eligible to continue your FEHB?” which is just basically your Federal Employee Health Benefits. A lot of people come to work here just to get this benefit. This is a phenomenal benefit.
Then the next one just asked if you have a court order, then it says, do you want to keep your FEGLI, which is your Federal Employee Group Term Life Insurance? Yes or no. Asked you if you have got long term care. And the last question is, do you have federal dental and vision and basically here are you wanting to take this with you when you retire?
Once you have done that and you’ve clicked on the FEGLI, you come up to the next page where you can actually choose how much of this life insurance you want to take with you in retirement. This again is where our United Benefits will be there for you to help you select and show you which of these will be the best for you. The problem with the FEGLI is in retirement, these premiums keep going up.
You want to try to lock in on something where you’re not paying anything into retirement and we will actually walk through that with you individually one on one. You have to put your marital information in if you’re married. Also you will need to have a marriage license, if you are married, to attach to the GRB platform. Dependent children are basically children that are dependent: still living at home. You could actually put their names down.
And, have you ever had a workman’s comp claim? If you say no, that simple. You just put no, go to the next page. The next thing that you will do is your previous retirement. Have you tried to retire before? You just say yes or no. If you say no, you’re going to the next one. Your annuity election. The next one is pretty big because this is if you have a spouse and you’re wanting to leave that spouse part of your monthly FERS or civil service annuity, then this is where you choose how much, what percentage you will want to leave them. So you will choose on that page.
The next page, you would come up with will be your payment information. This is where they’re going to send your paycheck. So basically once you put in your banking information here, monthly they will actually send a paycheck directly to your bank. They’re going to ask questions like the name of your bank, the address, the phone number. Then you have to put in your routing number and account number.
Please double check that when you do it. What I do is, when I’m putting in a routing number and account number, I will put it in and I will put it to the person that I’m working with and I will say, “I’m going to read the numbers I put in: just double check it,” because you don’t want it to be sent to someone else’s account. Then you check what type of account’s going in, checking or savings. Then you’re going to go into tax withholding and that is your next one.
So you figured out, do you want to keep it the same as it is now, or do you want to send out a new W4 form? And it’s called the W4P form and you can just put that there, how many exemptions you’d like to take, whether you’re single, whether you’re married. Last thing is your designation of beneficiaries. Folks, the first one is actually for the actual retirement system. Well, you’re retiring.
If you’re retiring, you don’t really have to worry about, but if you’re someone getting on this and you’ve only been here a year or two or 10 years, you can actually go in and change who your beneficiaries are going to be and you can change who the beneficiary is going to be for your life insurance or you can keep them the same. Once all this is done, you will notice all these flags are now green.
That means at any time you’re able to send this in, and you will get an actual best agent, and that best agent will walk you through your retirement. Notice the review button. Click on the review button and it will show you what you’ve done. This, folks, to me is cool because you’re going to actually have to eventually print these forms off, but these forms are already pre-filled– but by the information that you put in.
The first one up there, the SF3107, is the actual application for retirement and it’ll have everything pre-filled. You’ll have to print these forms off and you’ll have to sign them because they have to have a wet signature in order to do your retirement paperwork, but you do not do anything until your best agent has contacted you and told you the things that you’ll need to do.
The other thing that you can do, and I’m just going to walk through this really quick because I know a lot of people sometimes just want to know: on my first paycheck, which is either my civil service or my first monthly annuity, how much am I going to make? You can actually call in and have them send you a quote back of what you’re going to actually earn in retirement and folks, sometimes that could take four weeks, six weeks to do.
You can do it own this GRB platform yourself. You don’t need anyone to help you do it. If you’ll notice where it says retirement calculator, if you’ll click on that, it just brings up, “When do you want to retire?” Basically that’s your date of retirement, then it does your hot three average for you automatically, tells you your sick leave. This is a survivor benefit, are you leaving a survivor benefit?
You will go down to, “I want to keep my health insurance,” which of course most people do. “Do I want to keep life insurance, and how much life insurance do I want to keep?” Then this is the one for your W4P. This is the actual for your taxes coming out and when you get through, this page will come up and it’ll show you exactly what you’re going to be making in retirement; or it’s an estimate of what you’re going to be making into retirement; and I think this makes this a really cool tool when you’re looking trying to find out what you’re going to be doing in retirement.
Other things I’ll just want to show you real quick, ’cause you notice the dashboard has a lot of things on it where you can go in and get examples and answers to questions. But if you’ll notice under the Thrift Savings Plan, you can actually go under the TSP, the Thrift Savings Plan. You can log in, but you can also get an estimate of what TSP would pay you if you turned your TSP money into an income.
Folks, we do this also with you one on one and we can give you comparisons. When you’re doing your TSP money, let us help you with that so you can get the most part on an income that you possibly want into retirement. Who would not want the most into retirement? You also can do things like of course health insurance, if you want to know how health insurance works. You can do the life insurance, which will actually pull up this page and this is the FEGLI calculator.
You can calculate, “What’s the cost of this? If I keep the FEGLI life insurance, what’s it going to cost me into retirement?” And it will actually show you on this platform. You can also go here to social security. What’s cool about social security is you can actually go into the social security and get a quick estimate of what your social security would be just through this page. This ends the actual illustration that we’re using on the GRB platform. We have representatives that are in your areas all the time; and at any time just reach out to United Benefits and we’ll be happy to set up an appointment to take care of your needs. Thank you very much, and have a great day.
Protecting your paycheck. Protecting your life. Protecting your retirement