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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Pre-Retirement

  • If your employer sends us your retirement records electronically, via the Data Exchange Gateway (DEG), your account information for direct deposit will be sent to us automatically.  No further action from you is required. Otherwise, include your request to receive your payments by direct deposit with your retirement package.  You can do this by submitting a letter or a Standard Form (SF) 1199A with your application.  You must get the SF 1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form, from your financial institution.

    Direct deposit is available to retirees residing in Canada but, generally, it is not available to those whose permanent address for receiving payments is outside the United States. However, retirees living outside the U.S. can arrange to have their payments electronically deposited in a U.S. bank.

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  • OPM takes the following steps to process your claim for retirement benefits.

    • Obtains missing information from your retirement documents;
    • Determines your eligibility for an annuity and continued health and life insurance coverages;
    • Computes the amount of your annuity;
    • Sends you materials concerning:
    • Authorizes your annuity payment by the Department of the Treasury; and
    • Sends you an annuity statement.
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  • If you are still working, submit it to your employer.

    If you have been separated from federal service for more than 30 days, submit your application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

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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 benefit will be computed in the same manner as if it were not subject to offset. However, it will be reduced when you become eligible for Social Security benefits. The offset applies when the basic requirements for Social Security are met, generally at age 62, even if you do not apply for those benefits. If you are not eligible for Social Security benefits at age 62, there is no offset unless you become eligible later.

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  • If you are a federal retiree, contact OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov to check the status of your request.  The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy.

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  • Your personnel office will verify with your payroll office that the deposit to give you credit in your annuity for military service you performed after 1956 has been paid, or that arrangements have been made for complete payment before you leave the agency's rolls.

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  • You should apply to make a payment by completing a Standard Form 2803 if you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). You should use Standard Form 3108 if you are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

    If you are within six months of retirement, you should submit your request to make the deposit or redeposit at the same time you submit your application for retirement. You can use a form or letter to do this. We will notify you of any amounts due so you can decide whether or not to make the payment. We cannot, however, authorize your regular annuity payments until we have your decision about the payment.

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  • If you want to waive your military retired pay to receive credit for military service in the computation of your benefit, you should write the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement.  Send your waiver to:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service
    U.S. Military Retirement Pay
    P.O. Box 7130
    London, KY 40742-7130

    You can "fax" your request to 1 (888) 469-6559.

    Suggested wording for your request is as follows:

    "I (full name and military serial number) hereby waive my military retired pay for Civil Service Retirement/Federal Employees Retirement System purposes effective (the day before your annuity begins).

    I hereby authorize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to withhold from my CSRS or FERS annuity any amount of military retired pay granted beyond the effective date of this waiver due to any delay in receiving or processing this request."

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  • If you need to contact us before you receive your claim number, first contact your former payroll office to find the date your records were transferred to OPM. Your payroll office should provide you with the number and date of the Register of Separations and Transfers. You will also need your Payroll Identification Number.
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