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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Benefit Adjustments

  • Yes. Cost-of-Living Adjustments are effective each December first. The adjustment appears in your January payment on the first business day of the month, which is when your benefit for December is paid. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and FERS Special Cost-of-Living Adjustments are not provided until age 62, except for disability, survivor benefits, and other special provision retirements. Also, under FERS, if you have a CSRS component, the component is subject to the CSRS COLA. Read about Cost-of-Living Adjustments for those who receive benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System, Organization and Disability Retirement System (ORDS), the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), or FERS Special.
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  • Information on the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act can be found on OPM’s web site at www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fercca/index.asp.
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  • Please report it here: https://apps.opm.gov/retire/payment/missing_pay.cfm.  If you are unable to use the website, you can report it by contacting OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy.
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  • The U.S. Department of Labor calculates the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban wage earners and clerical workers from the third quarter average of the previous year to the third quarter average for the current year. For Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Organization and Disability Retirement System (ORDS) benefits, the increase percentage is applied to your monthly benefit amount before any deductions, and is rounded down to the next whole dollar. For Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or FERS Special benefits, if the increase in the CPI is 2 percent or less, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment is equal to the CPI increase. If the CPI increase is more than 2 percent but no more than 3 percent, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment is 2 percent. If the CPI increase is more than 3 percent, the adjustment is 1 percent less than the CPI increase. The new amount is rounded down to the next whole dollar.
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  • Contact OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy.
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  • Generally, your taxes change due to a change in the tax tables.  Tax tables are set into law by the United States Congress and administered by the IRS. Each year, the new tables are posted on the IRS website in IRS Publication 15 and Notice 1036.  OPM is required by law to update your Federal income tax withholding based on the new monthly periodic tax tables and formulas. OPM withholds the required federal taxes according to your marital status and exemptions (dependents) elected. You can change your tax withholding amount at any time. It is a good idea to check the amount of your Federal and State tax withholding each year.  
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  • Yes, Federal retirees under the CSRS and FERS retirement systems will still receive their scheduled annuity payments on the first business day of the month. 
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