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Contact Retirement Retirement Information Center

Public Law 112-96, Section 5001 of the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, makes two significant changes to the Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS).  First, beginning in 2013, new employees (as designated in the statute) will have to pay higher employee contributions.  These employees must pay 3.1% of their salary as FERS retirement contributions.  This is an increase of 2.3%.   Second, new Members of Congress and Congressional employees, in addition to paying higher retirement contributions, will accrue retirement benefits at the same rate as regular employees. 

The higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage will generally apply to any individual who receives an appointment not excluded from FERS coverage on or after January 1, 2013, who would normally be placed into FERS. 

There are three exceptions to this general rule, however, and the date December 31, 2012, is a key date for each of those exceptions.  An individual will be excluded from FERS-RAE coverage if any of these exceptions apply.

Exception 1:  the individual on December 31,2012, was covered under FERS;

Or

Exception 2:  the individual on December 31,2012, was performing civilian service which is creditable or potentially creditable service under FERS (for example the individual may have been covered under another retirement system from which service credit may be transferred to FERS, such as CSRS, CSRS-Offset, Foreign Service, Federal Reserve, or CIARDS)

Or

Exception 3:  the individual on December 31, 2012, was not covered under FERS and was not performing civilian service which is creditable or potentially creditable service under FERS, but as of December 31, 2012 had performed at least five years of civilian service creditable or potentially creditable under FERS, including service subject to CSRS or CSRS-Offset.

Employees that fall under the higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage will not see a change in the calculation of their future retirement benefits.

The Members and Congressional employees who do not qualify for the exclusion from paying the higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage are subject to a significant change in their future benefits. First they are subject to the increased higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage.  Second, their retirement benefits will be computed under the regular employee formula and no longer under the enhance formula used for FERS Members and Congressional employees.

Benefits Administration Letter 12-104,Federal Employees Retirement System-Revised Annuity Employees (RAE), provides additional information and can be found here on our website.  


Due to budget cuts caused by sequestration, OPM has been required to initiate changes to some of the business operations in Retirement Services. Beginning on Sunday, April 28, 2013, all overtime for employees working in Retirement Services at OPM is suspended and call center hours are reduced to 7:40 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday.  While it is our hope that process improvements developed over the past year will ameliorate some of the adverse effects of these necessary actions, retirees should expect an increase in the time required to process their claims or respond to inquiries. OPM remains committed to assuring that retirees receive the benefits that they have earned, and we will provide an update on the impact of these actions on retirement processing on a monthly basis with our retirement claims processing report.

 

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:

  • Keep your retirement claim number in a safe place
  • If you use Services Online (SOL) (www.servicesonline.opm.gov) keep your password in a secure place just as you would with the password to your banking institution. We have made it easy for you to access SOL using your password to record changes and manage your account quickly
  • Log into SOL periodically to keep your address and email address up to date so you don’t miss any important information
  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) employees will NOT call you and ask for your identifying information over the phone or request your password.  If you should receive a questionable telephone call from someone claiming to be an employee of OPM, please do not give out your personal information, but contact us immediately at 1-888-767-6738

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

https://twitter.com/fedretireinfo

http://www.facebook.com/USOPM


 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:

  •  2012 1099-R’s are now available through Services Online.  You can also print the last 2 years of your 1099R.

 

  • We have enhanced the annuity statement within Services Online to include the OPM seal so it can be used in most cases for a “Verification of Income.”  Simply logon to Services Online and print the statement.

 

  • We are allowing electronic 1099-R delivery through an opting-in process by our annuitants.  In addition to cost savings, electronic 1099-R delivery provides a faster and more secure method to communicate tax information.  Annuitants who do not opt-in will continue to receive paper copies of the 1099-R.  You will receive more information in upcoming months.

 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. 


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