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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Pre-Retirement

  • Participation is entirely voluntary, and requires the mutual consent of both the employee and employing agency.  In order to participate, an individual must have been employed on a full-time basis for the preceding three years.  Under CSRS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at age 55, or with 20 years of service at age 60.  Under FERS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at MRA (minimum retirement age 55-57 depending upon year of birth), or with 20 years of service at age 60.
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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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  • 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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  • Both the personnel and payroll office in your agency and OPM are responsible for processing your annuity claim.

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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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  • You may be able to receive retirement credit for active-duty military service after 1956 if you make a payment for that service. You must make the payment before you stop working for the government. You should ask your local servicing personnel center for help in determining whether to make this payment. They can provide personalized assistance because they have your employment records.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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