Social Security default


Q. What would happen to FERS retirees if Social Security defaults? I heard rumors that the CSRS folks will still get paid, but the FERS people will not. Another rumor is that the government can take your TSP G-Fund money, but not the other funds. What should federal employees be doing for such a scenario?

A. The rumors you’re hearing are silly. Ignore them. Your FERS annuity payments are not dependent upon Social Security for funding, so I would expect that only your Social Security payment would be affected. If you’re concerned about the reliability of your Social Security retirement benefits, you should develop and follow a sound plan that will allow you to support yourself in retirement without them. You may need to adjust your pre-retirement savings rate, your retirement point, your standard of living in retirement and your investment strategy to get the results you are looking for without Social Security income payments. The earlier you make these adjustments, the easier it will be to accomplish.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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