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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • After logging in to SOL (https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov/) 1)       Select Request a Duplicate Form 1099-R.  2)       You can elect to have a duplicate mailed to you or you can view/print the form. 3)       At the Request for Duplicate Form 1099-R window, select View or Print (bottom of the window) 4)       Select the year for which you want a 1099R and 5)       Select view pdf.  The 1099-R will open in a new window, as a pdf.  If you want to print the 1099R, select File from the new window, scroll down and select Print. You can print current year and two previous years 1099R at Services Online. Note:  If you don’t have a claim number and password for Services OnLine, you can email retire@opm.gov or call Retirement Information office at 1-888-767-6738 for a duplicate copy of your 1099R.  You will need your CSA or CSF number (or Social Security Number) and date of birth.  Make sure your mailing address is correct!  Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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  • Use our online calculator to compute the tax free portion of your annuity. http://apps.opm.gov/tax_calc/index.cfm Read about how the tax free portion of your annuity is determined. Your retirement contributions are shown on the 1099R form we send you each January for tax filing purposes.  You can find information about computing the taxable portion of your annuity by going to IRS Publication 721 (Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits) on the Internal Revenue Service website.  Search for Publication 721 and refer to “Part II Rules for Retirees”.  You will find detailed information for disability and non-disability retirees, along with worksheets for computing the taxable portion. If your non-disability annuity started on/after July 2, 1986, a portion of each annuity payment is taxable and a portion is considered a tax-free recovery of your contributions to the retirement fund. If you retired under the disability provision, the disability annuity you receive from CSRS or FERS is taxable as wages until you reach minimum retirement age.  Your retirement contributions are shown on the 1099R form we send you each January for tax filing purposes. 
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  • Use our calculator to figure the tax-free portion of your annuity payment. Use our calculator to figure the amount of your monthly federal income tax withholding. Then, use Services Online to change the federal tax withheld from your annuity payment.
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  • In most cases, as soon as we get all of your retirement records, we provide interim payments. These payments represent a portion of your final benefit and are usually made on the first business day of each month. We try to provide you with income until we finish processing your application.
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  • Use Services Online to view your monthly annuity statement. This statement shows your current annuity payment, including the gross amount, up to 35 possible deductions or additions, and the net amount. The online statement reflects changes you made through the previous business day, unless the changes were made after the date for updating the monthly payment. Any changes you made after that date will be reflected in the statement for the next month's payment, when the change would be effective. Please refer to our payment schedule for information on the dates by which changes must be made in each month's payment. Your statement will also show required payment adjustments we make such as cost-of-living adjustments, health benefit premium changes, Federal income tax withholding table changes, and life insurance premium changes.
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  • It may take up to eight weeks to process a withdrawal after all properly completed withdrawal forms and separation data have been received by the TSP Service Office. Further, the TSP Service Office cannot process a withdrawal election until they receive an Employee Data Record from your payroll office indicating that you have separated. An unpaid TSP loan may delay disbursement of the TSP account balance. Your employer will provide you with information about your withdrawal options and the option to keep your money in the TSP.  If you choose not to withdraw your funds, in the event of your death the TSP Service Office would pay the funds based on your written designation form on file.  If you have not completed a designation form, payment would be made to your survivors as follows:
    • Widow or widower.
    • If none of the above, child or children and descendants of deceased children by representation.
    • If none of the above, retiree's parents or to the surviving parent.
    • If none of the above, the executor or administrator of the retiree's estate.
    • If none of the above, to any other of the retiree's next of kin who is entitled under the laws of the state in which the retiree resided at death.
    Read more about the Thrift Savings Program.
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  • If you have not already done so, you should choose your exact retirement date. Afterwards, your benefit can be estimated based on the exact date. The best place to obtain assistance is your agency's local personnel service center.   They can provide personalized assistance and they have your employment records.  They will provide you with information on when your benefit payments can begin based on your proposed retirement date.  You will also find out how this date affects factors used to determine the amount of your retirement benefit, such as your length of service, high-3 average salary, and the proration of cost-of-living adjustments.
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  • The survivor benefit you elected at retirement is no longer payable. A monthly survivor benefit would be payable to your former spouse after death if one is provided by court order or your new election. The following conditions must exist for your former spouse to receive a benefit:
    • You were married to your former spouse for at least nine months;
    • You performed at least 18 months of creditable civilian service;
    • Your former spouse to whom you were married less than 30 years has not remarried before age 55.
    Your annuity may be reduced if your former spouse was awarded a survivor annuity by a qualifying court order. If you retired on or after May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse for a marriage dissolved on or after May 7, 1985. If you are divorced after retirement from a spouse to whom you were married at retirement, we will honor the court order to the extent that your annuity was reduced at retirement. If you did not elect a survivor annuity for that person at retirement, your annuity will not be reduced. If you retired before May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a qualifying court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse in connection with a marriage that was dissolved on or after May 7, 1985, but only if you were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity at that time or your were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity before May 7, 1985.
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  • The basic Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuity cannot exceed 80 percent of your high-3 average salary, excluding your unused sick leave. Generally, you reach the 80 percent limitation when you have 41 years and 11 months of service, not including accumulated sick leave.   Fewer years of service may result in a computation that produces the maximum benefit under special computation formulas such as for law enforcement personnel. Your service beyond the years which provides the maximum benefit will not be used to compute your annuity.  Instead, we will automatically refund the retirement contributions you made during those years.  Interest is paid on this refund payment at the rate of three percent per year, compounded annually.  You can use the refund to purchase additional annuity, as if  the contributions and interest are voluntary contributions. However, if you have federal civilian employment periods when you did not contribute to either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), we automatically apply excess contributions toward any deposit due for these employment periods.
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  • If your agency undergoes a major reorganization, reduction in force, or transfer of function, and a significant percentage of the employees will be separated, or will be reduced in pay, the head of your agency can ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to permit early optional retirement for eligible employees. If your agency gets approval to permit early optional retirements, eligible employees will be notified of the opportunity to retire voluntarily. Information about Early Optional Retirement under CSRS is available here.  Information about Early Optional Retirement under FERS is available here.
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