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Retirement FAQs

Pre-Retirement

  • Please refer to our answers about payment information.
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  • Please refer to our answer about powers of attorney.
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  • See information here about cost-of-living adjustments. Then, check with your local personnel service center for an explanation about how the cost-of-living increases apply to those retiring under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). They can provide personalized assistance and they have your employment records.
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  • Your personnel officer will review the election opportunities to provide benefits after your death to your husband or wife, ex-spouse, or another person you designate as having an insurable interest in your continuing life.  If you do not provide for a monthly benefit after your death, your survivor will not be able to continue coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program.  The advisor will also cover the requirements that each survivor must meet to qualify. When making an election to provide a benefit after your death, you must obtain your husband's or wife's written consent to provide less than the maximum benefit allowed. To designate an insurable interest, you must have a physical examination at your own expense. You local personnel service center is the best place to begin. They can provide personalized assistance and they have your employment records.
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  • You should review your designation of beneficiary for the lump sum payment of retirement contributions when no one is eligible for monthly payments. This designation is made on a Standard Form 2808 for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or a Standard Form 3102 for the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Make sure the form shows the person or people you want designated. If a copy is not available to review, you may wish to file a new designation. If you transferred to FERS, any prior designation you made for CSRS coverage is canceled. You may wish to file a FERS designation. If you were automatically transferred to FERS coverage from CSRS, your designation will remain in force. If there is no designation of beneficiary, benefits will be paid in the following order:
    1. Your widow or widower.
    2. Your children in equal shares.
    3. Your parents in equal shares.
    4. Your appointed executor or administrator of your estate.
    5. Your next of kin under the laws of the state you reside in when you die.
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  • You can pay your premiums directly to the Office of Personnel Management. In this case, we will tell you how to make these arrangements. You should not send any payments until we do.
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  • That depends on when you worked and whether you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Make a selection from the list of circumstances below which best describes your situation and ask your local personnel service center for assistance because they have your employment records.
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  • Phased Retirement is a new human resource management tool made possible by section 100121 of Public Law 112-141, the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act," or "MAP-21," approved on July 6, 2012.
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  • The period of Phased Retirement will be treated as a period of part-time service in the computation of the survivor annuity.  However, the Basic Employee Death Benefit will be based upon the full-time salary of the position.
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  • Your Official Personnel Folder should contain a record of your current Federal life insurance coverage on a Standard Form 2817, "Life Insurance Election", and, if appropriate, your current life insurance designation of beneficiary, Standard Form 2823. If there is no designation of beneficiary, benefits will be paid in the following order:
    1. Your widow or widower.
    2. Your children in equal shares.
    3. Your parents in equal shares.
    4. Your appointed executor or administrator of your estate.
    5. Your next of kin under the laws of the state you reside in when you die.
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  • Phased Retirement will encourage the most experienced Federal employees to extend their contributions to the Nation, and will operate as a tool to ensure continuity of operations and to facilitate knowledge management. The main purpose of Phased Retirements is to enhance mentoring and training of the employees who will be filling the positions of more experienced employees who are preparing for full retirement.  It is intended to encourage experienced employees to remain, in at least a part-time capacity, until less experienced employees are fully equipped to fulfill the same duties and responsibilities as those employees who wish to retire.  An effective Phased Retirement plan has been a long-sought goal.  However, under prior law, the problem was that an individual who was retirement eligible but wished to continue employment on a part-time basis generally had little economic incentive to do so because an employee’s potential retirement benefits would often be equal to or greater than their salary would be for part-time employment. Phased Retirement will in essence permit an individual to retire from part of their employment, while continuing the remainder and continuing to earn additional retirement benefits proportionately based upon the additional less-than-full-time employment.
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  • Yes, if the employing agency agrees to the change.  The Phased Retirement annuity will then terminate.  Upon retirement, the individual’s retirement will be calculated under the laws then in effect, with the period of Phased Retirement treated as part-time service.  Once an individual has gone back to full-time employment, they cannot elect to go back into Phased Retirement.
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  • The law provides that employees subject to mandatory retirement (including Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Nuclear Materials Couriers, Air Traffic Controllers, Customs and Border Protection Officers, or members of the Capitol Police or Supreme Court Police) may not participate.  However, “grandfathered” Customs and Border Protection Officers who are not subject to mandatory retirement may participate.
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  • Initially, individuals will only be able to transition to a half-time schedule. After there is experience with the program, OPM may issue regulations that provide for other work and retirement proportions.
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  • Deposits and redeposits (including for military service) must be satisfied (either by payments or annuity reduction, as applicable) prior to entry into Phased Retirement status.  Any reduction in annuity or loss of service credit at the time of entry into Phased Retirement will be permanent for the employee.  No deposits or redeposits can be made by the employee at a later time, including at the time of full retirement.   However, in the case of a Phased Retiree’s death-in-service, the survivors can make deposits or redeposits on the same basis as if the decedent had not been a Phased Retiree.
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Total Count: 218, Number of Pages: 15, Page: 5
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