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Benefits Officers Center Aids

 

Overview

This page provides information on various HR Aids for Benefits Officers.

FEDMER Nationwide Program

Under the Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS) law, entitlement to Social Security disability benefits affects an individual's eligibility to the OPM-administered disability program. Under FEDMER, both OPM and SSA will receive the same medical records at the time of application. Once a decision is made by either OPM or SSA, they will contact the other with the determination. See BAL 07-104 for details.

Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act

The Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA) section provides you with everything you need to know about FERCCA and it's implementation. Also see the FERCCA FAQ's.

Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality

The Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) Program is a computer-based system that provides benefits specialists a tool to assist eligible employees with retirement coverage elections under Public law 104-106, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996.

Federal Medical Evidence of Record Program (FEDMER)

FEDMER is now a nationwide program. Review the following Retirement Policy and Process Issues Benefits Administration Letter for instructions on how to apply to this program.

October 12, 2007: Benefits Administration Letter 07-104 - New Nationwide FEDMER procedures

For more information about this program send an email to the Benefits Officers Training and Development Group: benefits@opm.gov

Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA)

Your agency is responsible for processing any cases identified as being affected under FERCCA after 8/1/2004. FERCCA cases that were identified prior to 08/01/2004 were placed in the OPM FERCCA database and processed by OPM.

The following table outlines the order of events and responsible parties for each step in the processing of a FERCCA case:

Events and Responsible Parties
ActionResponsibility

(1) Process and mail election package

Agency

(2) Offer and provide counseling to aid employee in making an election decision

Agency

(3) Return form with retirement plan election

Employee

(4) Make retirement plan corrections and updates files (including any make-up contribution schedules)

Agency

Please contact your agency if you have any questions regarding your FERCCA case. If you are retired, you may contact OPM on our nation-wide toll free number 1-888-767-6738 to answer any questions you may have regarding your FERCCA case. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 8:00 pm ET.

FERCCA Legislation

The Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA) legislation was signed in September 2000. It was designed to provide relief to Federal civilian employees who were placed in the wrong retirement system for at least 3 years of service after December 31, 1986.

FERCCA gives many employees and annuitants placed in the wrong retirement system an opportunity to choose between the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the offset provisions of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). FERCCA may also provide one or more of the following:

  • Reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket expenses paid as a result of a coverage error;
  • Ability to benefit from certain changes in the rules about how some Government service counts toward retirement; and
  • Make-up contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan and receipt of lost earnings on those contributions.

The Senate approved H.R. 4040, the "Long-Term Care Security Act" and the "Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA)", on July 25, 2000 and the House passed it on July 27, 2000. The President signed it on September 19, 2000

This legislation, which received bipartisan support, brings fair and equitable relief to Federal employees and their families. It also required the Office of Personnel Management to issue regulations no later than 6-months after enactment. Any time lag between enactment and full implementation will not adversely affect the choices available.

Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) Program

The Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) Program is a computer-based system that provides benefits specialists a tool to assist eligible employees with retirement coverage elections under Public law 104-106.

Public Law 104-106 is the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996. Section 1043 of this legislation created a 1-year opportunity under which employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) who meet criteria set out in the law could elect to receive FERS credit for prior nonappropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI) service, or to retroactively resume retirement coverage previously held as a NAFI employee. Likewise, certain NAFI employees at the Departments of Defense or Coast Guard with prior service under FERS or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) could elect to return to retirement coverage under FERS or CSRS or to credit their FERS service in their current NAFI retirement plan.

The general purpose of this portion of section 1043 is to allow certain FERS and NAFI employees who had moved between the systems before the effective date of the regulations (August 10, 1996) the opportunity to combine all their service--both NAFI and regular civil service--in a single retirement benefit. The windows-based program described above has been jointly sponsered by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to help eligible employees make these elections.

The program takes information about past service and the employees expectations of future employment to provide projections of future benefits under the options that are available to the employee.

The deadline for making these elections was August 11, 1997, unless an employee meets the criteria for a waiver of the deadline as described later.

Note: The legislation also provides that certain employees who move between NAFI employment and FERS/CSRS anywhere in the Federal government on and after August 10, 1996 may elect to retain their current retirement coverage in future employment. This computer model is not designed to assist employees with these elections.

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Who is Eligible to Make an Election to Resume Prior Retirement Coverage or Credit Prior Service to Current Retirement Plan?

Employees must satisfy the following eligibility criteria to make an election under section 1043 of Public Law 104-106:

  • A qualifying move from Appropriated Fund (APF) to Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) plan (or vice versa) was after 12/31/1965, and before 08/10/1996. The move is considered to have been made at the time of entering into the new position.
  • The employee or member is not currently covered under CSRS or FERS following a voluntary transfer from CSRS.
  • The employee or member was vested in the former retirement plan prior to the qualifying move.
  • The employee's or member's current retirement coverage began not more than one year after separation from the former retirement plan.
  • The employee or member has not had a break in service (more than 3 days) since the date of the qualifying move.
  • Additionally, employees or members who have previously had an opportunity under Public Law (PL) 101-508 (Portability Act), to elect to continue coverage following a move may now elect to combine service under the current retirement plan but may not return to the former plan.

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Hints for the NAFI Program User

Users' Guide: A user's guide is available in two ways. A stand-alone document can be printed before you enter the transfer model. Within the model information for the User's Guide is available on Help! screens.

Eligibility Criteria: While there are a number of edits in the program that identify situations where an employee is not eligible to make an election, or where the election opportunities are limited, the program can not identify every such situation. The user must verify that each employee is eligible to make an election and also which options are available. An example of a situation which the program will not identify is whether or not the employee had a previous opportunity to make an election.

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Conditions for Waiver of August 11, 1997 Deadline

Public Law 104-106 requires that all employees eligible to make an election receive timely notice of the election opportunity. Therefore, any employee who did not receive timely notice of the election opportunity may make an election after the August 11, 1997, deadline. To avoid deadline waivers, we urge agencies to notify employees as soon as possible. The law also requires that employees receive any information or assistance needed to make the election. Section 847.304 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, grants agencies the authority to waive the election deadline if an employee did not receive timely notice or counselling concerning the election opportunity.

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Download NAFI Program

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Reference Material

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Employee Records

Please contact the following offices for information about an employee's prior service or contributions to a retirement plan that are available for transfer. Note that the current employing agency has an employee's records of current service and retirement contributions.

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For Further Assistance

For information about the Department of Defense regulations implementing this legislation, and assistance with the NAF retirement plan rules, please contact the Nonappropriated Fund Retirement Policy and Operations offices.

For assistance about the regulations and guidance governing employees in appropriated fund positions and general assistance on using this program, call (202) 606-0788 or email benefits@opm.gov.

For assistance regarding the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's policy, call (202) 942-1460.

For technical information about the programming and underlying assumptions in this program, contact the developer of this model at (703) 642-5225 or send an email to Economic Systems. Inc.

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For comments on the OPM Federal Benefits Page, please contact: benefits@opm.gov

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