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Congress approved a cost of living increase for Federal retirees.
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OPM strives to make sure the proper payments are being paid to the proper beneficiaries. We take every opportunity to send reminders to our annuitants and their survivors concerning the importance of reporting changes in addresses and or life events.
This is also a good time for me to remind our newer annuitants and those that have been retired for a while of some activities that can safeguard your retirement information.
You should always:
As we enter into the second quarter of 2013, we made significant improvements in our processing time. We enhanced SOL by allowing you to print a verification of income statement that can be used for personal business. Thanks to you, we increased our email address data base allowing us to send you valuable retirement information as well as allowing us to go green and reduce our paper usage. In the upcoming months, we will provide you the option to receive information from OPM electronically.
You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook
I want to let you know about a number of exciting improvements available from Retirement Services in 2013. In particular, we are offering a number of improvements through Services Online:
If you haven't visited Services Online yet it is never too late. Go to: www.Servicesonline.opm.gov You will need your claim number and password to login. If you need a password you may request one from the login page. When you logon please set up your email address and security questions. Setting up your email address will allow us to email you a password in the future.
In addition to modern electronic improvements, we continue to make progress in reducing the backlog of retirement cases. We are quickly moving toward our goal of processing cases within an average of 60 days. We look forward to serving you in the coming year.
We have recently started to receive a large number of questions regarding phased retirement.
On July 6, 2012, Public Law 112-141 was approved. This Law includes a phased retirement option which will allow retirement eligible Federal employees to partially retire while working part-time. This practice will encourage the most experienced Federal employees to extend their contributions to the Nation; and, help agencies improve continuity of operations by bolstering mentoring and knowledge retention programs.
Participation is entirely voluntary, and requires the mutual consent of both the employee and employing agency. In order to participate, an individual must have been employed on a full-time basis for the preceding three years. Under CSRS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at age 55, or with 20 years of service at age 60. Under FERS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at MRA (minimum retirement age 55-57 depending on year of birth), or with 20 years of service at age 60.
The FAQs, we posted in August 2012 provide the general outline on how the program will work. You can review those FAQs by clicking on this link. We continue to work with human resources and benefits officers from various agencies, along with our legal department here at OPM, to craft the regulation in support of PL 112-141. Implementation of the program is an important goal of OPM, and this will be accomplished as soon as possible.
We are committed to providing you information on our progress. Be sure and Follow us on Twitter for updates.
Let me begin by wishing you and your families a very happy and joyful holiday.
We’ve just completed a very successful Benefits Open Season and are moving on with other scheduled events for you. Right now we’re working on completing your “Statement of Annuity Paid” forms. These are the 1099Rs that you receive every year that you use to file your tax returns. This year we’re trying to have your 1099Rs posted and available by the last week of January. The 1099Rs will be available on our Services OnLine (SOL) site. We encourage you to pull those directly from the website. In the future, we would like to move to a completely automated process so you can retrieve the forms without us having to mail them. But in the meantime, we will still be sending out these notifications to you by mail the last week in January.
In the next couple weeks you‘ll receive your “Notice of Annuity Adjustment” by mail. This year’s notice contains information about the cost of living adjustment (COLA) and any changes that will affect the amount of your monthly annuity. And remember, it’s very important for you to keep your mailing address current. Although you may have direct deposit, we still mail information to you. To be sure you receive this and other mailings, we need to have your correct mailing address.
As we continue to develop more services for you, I encourage all of you to log on to our retirement website at www.opm.gov/retire for current information about retirement issues. There’s a treasure chest of great information that may be of value to you. If there are particular business transactions you need to take care of, log on to our Services OnLine (SOL) site at www.servicesonline.opm.gov/ where you can quickly and easily change or update your mailing address, set up allotments, change your Federal tax withholding, sign up for direct deposit, change your password and view your annuity statement. You can now take advantage of our SOL site when you’re in interim payment status.
As we move into the New Year, we will be focusing on improving and expanding our services for you so you can continue to enjoy your retirement. Be sure to keep abreast of the latest retirement issues that may affect you by logging on to www.opm.gov/retire. Manage your own account on www.servicesonline.opm.gov/. Be sure to follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/fedretireinfo.
Again, best wishes for this holiday season and the New Year.
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