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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • Some of an employee’s spousal Social Security benefit may be offset if the employee has a government pension from work not covered by Social Security. The offset does not apply to the employee’s own Social Security benefit, only the benefit that comes from a spouse’s employment. If the Government Pension Offset applies, the spousal Social Security benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of any Federal pension based on employment not covered by Social Security. Some employees are exempt from the Government Pension Offset. They are employees who are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset, and those who elected to transfer to the FERS before January 1, 1988, or during the belated transfer period which ended June 30, 1988. Employees who were covered by the CSRS and who elected FERS coverage after June 30, 1988 must have five years of Federal employment covered by Social Security to be exempt from the offset.
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  • To qualify for payments from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you must submit a retirement application. They are available on our website, as follows: You should submit an application for immediate retirement as shown below.
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  • Survivor annuities are payable through the end of the month prior to the date of the event which caused the loss of eligibility. For example, if the remarriage or other event occurred in April, benefits would end on March 31. Survivor annuities payable to widows, widowers, and former spouses end if the survivor remarries before age 55 and was not married for at least 30 years to the deceased employee or annuitant. Widows, widowers, and former spouses who remarry after they reach age 55 continue to be eligible for survivor annuity benefits. The survivor annuity for a former spouse who is entitled because of a court order, ends if the terms of the court order are satisfied. Insurable interest annuities are payable for the life of the survivor. If an annuity to a surviving spouse ends for a remarriage, it can be restored if the remarriage ends. Before the benefit can be restored, the survivor must pay back any lump sum payment of retirement contributions, if applicable. Former spouse benefits that end because of a remarriage can never be restored. If you want your annuity restored, write to us and include a copy of the decree of divorce, annulment, or death certificate. Annuity benefits for children end when the child reaches age 18, marries, or dies. Survivor annuities are payable through the end of the month prior to the date of the event which caused the loss of eligibility. For example, if the child turns 18 on June 29, benefits would end on May 31. Benefits for student children, stop at the end of the month before the one in which the student child:
    • turns 22;
    • marries;
    • dies;
    • stops attending school;
    • transfers to a school that is not recognized;
    • changes to less than full-time attendance;
    • enters military service or a Government service academy; or
    • fails to submit certification of full-time school attendance.
    You must notify us immediately if any of the above events occurs to minimize the potential for an overpayment of benefits. Include your claim number and a copy of any appropriate record such as a marriage certificate.
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  • Complete information pertaining to military service can be found in the CSRS/FERS handbook at www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C022.pdf.  If you are a current employee, contact your personnel office for information.
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  • Use Services Online to:
    • start, change, or stop Federal and State income tax withholdings;
    • request a duplicate tax-filing statement (1099R);
    • change your Personal Identification Number (PIN) for accessing our automated systems;
    • establish, change, or stop an allotment to an organization;
    • change your mailing address;
    • start direct deposit of your payment or change the account or financial institution to which your payment is sent;
    • establish, change, or stop a checking or savings allotment; and
    • view a statement describing your annuity payment.
    You can also call our toll-free number 1 (888) 767-6738 , for these and many of your voluntary withholdings. When using our self-service systems, you need your claim number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and social security number. If you do not have a PIN, call us. If you do not have a touchtone telephone, you can speak to a Customer Service Specialist. Generally, in the middle of month, we authorize payments that are due for the first business day of the following month. Therefore, if you want your change to be reflected in your next payment, you should submit your request as early in the month as possible. See our payment schedule for the last date you can change your next monthly payment.
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  • You may receive a CSRS survivor annuity and social security payments. You may receive a FERS survivor annuity and social security payments.  However, if you are the survivor of a FERS retiree, you cannot receive the FERS survivor supplement if you are eligible for social security mother, father or disability benefits based on the deceased annuitant’s account.  Please contact the local office of the Social Security Administration for information about social security benefits. If you receive social security benefits based on your own employment, there may be a reduction in the social security benefit you receive based on your deceased spouse's service. Contact the Social Security Administration for more information about the Government Pension Offset at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html. See the information below about benefits which may be payable to the surviving spouse of a deceased annuitant who was covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset program. Under these circumstances, a survivor may be eligible for both a CSRS annuity and social security benefits.
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  • To report a death of someone who receives benefits from us, you can:
    • Contact us online:  Report a Death
    • Call us: 1-88USOPMRET — 1 (888)767-6738
    • Write to us at:
    U.S. Office of Personnel Management Retirement Services Program Post Office Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045
    If you are reporting the death of someone who receives benefits from us, please provide us with the full name of the deceased and date of death, as well as the retirement claim number, if known, and social security number. You should also include your name, address, and telephone number. When we receive the report that someone who receives benefits from us has died, we will stop annuity payments and ask survivors who may be eligible for benefits to apply. In many cases, we can start monthly payments to an eligible surviving spouse based on the records on file. Payments made to a retiree after the date of his or her death are not negotiable. In addition, survivors may not be eligible for the full amount of such payments. Therefore, the Department of the Treasury will reclaim all direct deposit payments made after the date of death from the financial institution to which they were disbursed. The financial institution will debit the account to which the payments were previously credited. The annuitant's account should remain open until reclamation of any payments is completed. Uncashed checks payable to the deceased must be returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You should void any uncashed checks by noting the annuitant's date of death on them before returning them. Voided checks should be returned to the following address: U.S. Department of the Treasury P.O. Box 24720 Oakland, CA 94623-1720 In addition, Benefit Officers can use our website to report the death of an employee and help us expedite payments to family members.
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  • You should carefully read the information that is part of your retirement application, and complete and submit the forms.  You do not need to submit a separate letter of resignation.  A completed and signed retirement application is equivalent to a letter of resignation. If you are eligible for a retirement benefit, you should not resign, intending to submit a retirement application later. This is because if you die after separating but before filing the application no life insurance, no survivor benefit, and no survivor health insurance coverage would be available to your survivor(s). You should, however, complete all the other required "exit procedures." Read more about applying for retirement.
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  • Services Online is our online tool for annuitants.  You will need your CSA or CSF number and a password.  If you misplaced or forgot your password, there are three ways you can request a new one.    Remember to include your CSA/CSF number, your SSN and your name and date of birth on all correspondence with us. 
    • Online:  Go to https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov and request a password by email or by mail.   Scroll down the page and select the forgot password link (located in the gray sign on box).  Follow the directions on the Online Password Request page.
     If you select to receive your password by email, you’ll receive your temporary password to the email address we have on file for you within 2 days. 
    REMEMBER:  To request a password by email, you MUST have already established your security questions on Services Online.  If you select to receive your password by postal mail, you’ll receive your temporary password within 5 to 7 days by postal mail to the mailing address we have on file for you. 
    • By email:  Request a new password by sending an email to retire@opm.gov.  Please be sure to include your name, claim number and mailing address.  Your temporary password will be mailed to your address on file.  You will receive your temporary password by postal mail within 5 to 7 days. 
    •  By telephone:  Request a new password by calling us at 1 (888) 767-6738 between the hours of 7:15 am to 7:45 pm EST.  We will need your name, claim number and mailing address
    • By mail:  Request a new password by sending us a letter at Office of Personnel Management, PO Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017.  Be sure and tell us you want a new password.  Include your CSA or CSF number, your full name and your mailing address.  You temporary password will be mailed to your address on file.  You will receive your temporary password within 5 to 7 days.
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