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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Pre-Retirement

  • If your employer sends us your retirement records electronically, via the Data Exchange Gateway (DEG), your account information for direct deposit will be sent to us automatically.  No further action from you is required. Otherwise, include your request to receive your payments by direct deposit with your retirement package.  You can do this by submitting a letter or a Standard Form (SF) 1199A with your application.  You must get the SF 1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form, from your financial institution. Direct deposit is available to retirees residing in Canada but, generally, it is not available to those whose permanent address for receiving payments is outside the United States. However, retirees living outside the U.S. can arrange to have their payments electronically deposited in a U.S. bank.
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  • Your personnel office will verify with your payroll office that the deposit to give you credit in your annuity for military service you performed after 1956 has been paid, or that arrangements have been made for complete payment before you leave the agency's rolls.
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  • You should apply to make a payment by completing a Standard Form 2803 if you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). You should use Standard Form 3108 if you are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). If you are within six months of retirement, you should submit your request to make the deposit or redeposit at the same time you submit your application for retirement. You can use a form or letter to do this. We will notify you of any amounts due so you can decide whether or not to make the payment. We cannot, however, authorize your regular annuity payments until we have your decision about the payment.
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  • OPM takes the following steps to process your claim for retirement benefits.
    • Obtains missing information from your retirement documents;
    • Determines your eligibility for an annuity and continued health and life insurance coverages;
    • Computes the amount of your annuity;
    • Sends you materials concerning:
    • Authorizes your annuity payment by the Department of the Treasury; and
    • Sends you an annuity statement.
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  • If you want to waive your military retired pay to receive credit for military service in the computation of your benefit, you should write the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement.  Send your waiver to: Defense Finance and Accounting Service U.S. Military Retirement Pay P.O. Box 7130 London, KY 40742-7130 You can "fax" your request to 1 (888) 469-6559. Suggested wording for your request is as follows: "I (full name and military serial number) hereby waive my military retired pay for Civil Service Retirement/Federal Employees Retirement System purposes effective (the day before your annuity begins). I hereby authorize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to withhold from my CSRS or FERS annuity any amount of military retired pay granted beyond the effective date of this waiver due to any delay in receiving or processing this request."
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  • Contact your agency’s Benefits Officer.  A complete list of Benefits Officers by agency can be found at http://apps.opm.gov/abo/.
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  • Voluntary contributions are payments made to the retirement fund in addition to the deductions that are withheld from pay. You can make these contributions only if you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and do not owe a deposit for a period of time when deductions were not withheld from your pay. To make voluntary contributions, you should submit a Standard Form 2804 to your employer. You can make voluntary contributions in multiples of $25. Total contributions cannot exceed 10 percent of your pay. You can purchase additional annuity of $7 per year for each $100 of voluntary contributions, plus 20 cents for each full year you are over age 55 when you retire. By electing to take a reduction in the additional annuity, you can also purchase additional annuity for a surviving spouse who may receive a benefit after your death. Interest is paid on voluntary contributions at the rate of three percent annually until December 31, 1984. After that date, a variable interest rate is compounded annually on December 31st until service ends or a refund is paid. View the table of variable interest rates.
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  • If you are still working, submit it to your employer. If you have been separated from federal service for more than 30 days, submit your application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
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  • You can use voluntary contributions you made while working under the Civil Service Retirement System to purchase additional annuity when you retire or you can withdraw the contributions in a one-time payment. You can purchase additional annuity of $7 per year for each $100 of voluntary contributions, plus 20 cents for each full year you are over age 55 when you retire. By electing to take a reduction in the additional annuity, you can also purchase additional annuity for a surviving spouse who may receive a benefit after your death. Most people want to withdraw their voluntary contributions in a one-time payment. If the amount of the voluntary contributions, plus interest, is more than $200, you can roll the funds into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other qualified retirement plan to defer income tax. If you want to withdraw your voluntary contributions, you should submit either a Form RI 38-124 or Standard Form 2802 with the statement in item number seven, "I want only my voluntary contributions to be refunded to me." You can get these forms from your employer. You should submit your request at least 60 days before your expected retirement.
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  • If you need to contact us before you receive your claim number, first contact your former payroll office to find the date your records were transferred to OPM. Your payroll office should provide you with the number and date of the Register of Separations and Transfers. You will also need your Payroll Identification Number.
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