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112-96, Section 5001 of the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act
of 2012, makes two significant changes to the Federal Employee's Retirement
System (FERS). First, beginning in 2013,
new employees (as designated in the statute) will have to pay higher employee
contributions. These employees must pay
3.1% of their salary as FERS retirement contributions. This is an increase of 2.3%. Second, new Members of Congress and
Congressional employees, in addition to paying higher retirement contributions,
will accrue retirement benefits at the same rate as regular employees.
The higher FERS-RAE
coverage percentage will generally apply to any individual who receives an appointment not excluded from FERS
coverage on or after January 1, 2013,
who would normally be placed into FERS.
three exceptions to this general rule, however, and the date December 31, 2012,
is a key date for each of those exceptions.
An individual will be excluded from FERS-RAE coverage if any of these
1: the individual on December 31,2012,
was covered under FERS;
2: the individual on December 31,2012,
was performing civilian service which is creditable or potentially creditable
service under FERS (for example the individual may have been covered under
another retirement system from which service credit may be transferred to FERS,
such as CSRS, CSRS-Offset, Foreign Service, Federal Reserve, or CIARDS)
3: the individual on December 31, 2012,
was not covered under FERS and was not performing civilian service which is
creditable or potentially creditable service under FERS, but as of December 31,
2012 had performed at least five years
of civilian service
creditable or potentially creditable under FERS, including service subject to
CSRS or CSRS-Offset.
that fall under the higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage will not see a change
in the calculation of their future retirement benefits.
and Congressional employees who do not qualify for the exclusion from paying
the higher FERS-RAE coverage percentage are subject to a significant change in
their future benefits. First they are subject to the increased higher FERS-RAE
coverage percentage. Second, their
retirement benefits will be computed under the regular employee formula and no
longer under the enhance formula used for FERS Members and Congressional
Administration Letter 12-104,Federal Employees Retirement System-Revised
Annuity Employees (RAE), provides additional information and can be found here
on our website.
OPM strives to make sure the proper payments are being paid to the proper beneficiaries. We take every opportunity to send reminders to our annuitants and their survivors concerning the importance of reporting changes in addresses and or life events.
This is also a good time for me to remind our newer annuitants and those that have been retired for a while of some activities that can safeguard your retirement information.
You should always:
As we enter into the second quarter of 2013, we made significant improvements in our processing time. We enhanced SOL by allowing you to print a verification of income statement that can be used for personal business. Thanks to you, we increased our email address data base allowing us to send you valuable retirement information as well as allowing us to go green and reduce our paper usage. In the upcoming months, we will provide you the option to receive information from OPM electronically.
You can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook
I want to let you know about a number of exciting improvements available from Retirement Services in 2013. In particular, we are offering a number of improvements through Services Online:
If you haven't visited Services Online yet it is never too late. Go to: www.Servicesonline.opm.gov You will need your claim number and password to login. If you need a password you may request one from the login page. When you logon please set up your email address and security questions. Setting up your email address will allow us to email you a password in the future.
In addition to modern electronic improvements, we continue to make progress in reducing the backlog of retirement cases. We are quickly moving toward our goal of processing cases within an average of 60 days. We look forward to serving you in the coming year.
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