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Retirement FAQs

  • To report a technical problem with OPM’s Insure website, please send an email to insure-webmaster@opm.gov.   To report a technical problem with Retirement Services Online, please send an email to rethelp@opm.gov
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  • When you apply for retirement, you should list your workers compensation on your application. Generally, you cannot receive workers' compensation and civil service annuity payments at the same time. You must decide which benefit is most advantageous and elect to receive that one. If you decide to receive workers' compensation benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. If your workers compensation benefit stops, you can ask us to pay your civil service annuity. You can continue to receive your civil service annuity payments when your workers' compensation is for a Scheduled Award. If you missed work before retirement for an on-the-job injury or illness and received workers' compensation, generally, you can receive credit for time in the computation of your civil service annuity.
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  • You may receive a survivor annuity and a separate benefit that is based on your own service. Generally, if you are the surviving spouse of more than one retiree, you must elect one of the benefits. We cannot pay you two survivor annuities. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible for a widow or widower to receive more than one survivor annuity simultaneously. If, after age 55, you marry a Federal employee and you are again widowed, you may be eligible to receive annuities based on the service of both of your spouses.
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  • People who will be applying for benefits on or after May 1, 2011, should be ready to sign up for direct deposit when they apply for federal benefits and understand what information they should have on-hand to sign up. This will ensure they get their benefit payments in the safest, most reliable way possible.  
    • To get benefit payments by direct deposit into an existing financial institution account, people should be prepared with the following information for a smooth enrollment:
      • Account type: checking or savings
      • Account number
      • Financial institution’s routing number
     
    • To sign up for the Direct Express® card, people should notify their federal benefit agency at the time they apply for benefits. Once approved for federal benefits, they will receive their Direct Express® card and an information packet in the mail.
    People who currently receive federal benefits by paper check, should make the switch today to get their money a safer, more reliable way immediately.   If the benefit recipient has a bank or credit union account, he/she should sign up for direct deposit at www.GoDirect.org, by calling (800) 333-1795, or by visiting their local bank/credit union branch or federal benefit agency office.   Those who prefer a prepaid debit card can sign up for the Direct Express® card by calling toll-free (800) 333-1795, signing up online at www.GoDirect.org, or by contacting their local federal benefit agency office. No bank account or credit check is required to sign up for the card.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
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  • Your Official Personnel Folder should contain a record of all of your health benefits registration forms, Standard Form 2809, and, if appropriate, Standard Form 2810, Notice of Change in Health Benefits. Be sure that when you retire, your records will show a complete history of your health insurance enrollment for the last five years.
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  • No unused sick leave can be used in the computation of the Phased Retirement annuity.  However, at full retirement the unused sick leave will be taken into account.  While the computational provisions are somewhat complex, the value of the sick leave in that computation will be the same as for an individual retiring from a full-time position.
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  • Cost of living allowances are determined by Congress.  The amount and whether a COLA is given depends on legislation passed by Congress.
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  • No. We have no authority to waive the requirements for continuing life insurance coverage. If you are not eligible to continue it, you will be given the chance to change it to an individual policy.
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  • Both the personnel and payroll office in your agency and OPM are responsible for processing your annuity claim.
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  • When we approve your application for disability retirement, we may determine that based on your medical condition you will periodically have to provide us with current medical information in order to continue receiving benefits.
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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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  • Electronic payments, which allow for the exchange of funds through paperless methods, are safer, easier and more reliable than paper checks. Direct deposit is the electronic transfer of a payment from a company or organization into an individual's checking or savings account. When a recipient gets their federal benefit payment electronically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sends an electronic message to their bank or credit union account or to their Direct Express® card account crediting their account with the exact amount of their benefit. The difference is, a check isn’t printed or mailed. The government and businesses use direct deposit to transfer millions of dollars every day.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)
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  • Yes, but not under your family enrollment. There are two possible options for your former spouse to remain enrolled. First, all former spouses are eligible for a Temporary Continuation of Coverage enrollment that lasts for 36 months. Second, former spouses eligible for a monthly court-ordered benefit (either a portion of your monthly benefit, or a survivor benefit upon your death) are eligible for former spouse Federal health insurance. You may wish to review the health benefits information in the Attorney's Handbook or view additional information about Health Insurance.
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  • OPM can refund Federal and/or state income tax withholding ONLY for the current year.  To request a refund, you can email us at retire@opm.gov or call us at 1-888-767-6738.  Remember to provide your CSA or CSF claim number or full SSN.  We can issue a refund of the monies withheld in the current year ONLY.  If you want a partial reimbursement, let us know the exact amount (no percentage) AND provide the exact period (for example 5/10/2011 to 12/31/2011).  Normally, the refund is issued as a separate payment. We cannot refund tax withholding for previous tax years.    To request a refund of your withholdings for previous tax years, please contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for Federal tax withholding refund and your State Revenue Office for state tax withholding refund.  If we are not currently withholding State tax, you must call your State Tax office for a refund.  Find  your State Revenue Office here
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  • Generally, you must decide which benefit is most advantageous for you and elect to receive that one. If you decide you want to receive Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. But, if your OWCP benefits stop, you can ask us to pay your disability benefit. You can receive an OWCP Scheduled Award and the Office of Personnel Management benefits at the same time. Contact us to tell us if you are awarded workers' compensation benefits and see if you need to make an election between benefits. Refer to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) for additional information about workers' compensation benefits.
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Total Count: 415, Number of Pages: 28, Page: 10
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