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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Pre-Retirement

  • You may continue your health insurance coverage only if you meet the following conditions:

    • Your annuity must begin within 30 days or, if you are retiring under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) plus 10 provision of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), health and life insurance coverages are suspended until your annuity begins, even if it is postponed.
    • You must be covered for health insurance when you retire.
    • You must have been continuously covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, TRICARE, or the Civilian Health and Medical Program for Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS):
          • for five years immediately before retiring;or,
          • during all of your federal employment since your first opportunity to enroll;or,
          • continuously for full periods of service beginning with the enrollment that started before January 1, 1965, and ending with the date on which you become an annuitant, whichever is shortest.
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  • In most cases, as soon as we get all of your retirement records, we provide interim payments. These payments represent a portion of your final benefit and are usually made on the first business day of each month. We try to provide you with income until we finish processing your application.
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  • This is a provision that allows you to retire with benefits beginning immediately if you have ten years of service and have reached the Minimum Retirement Age (at least 55). However, the annuity is reduced for each month you are under age 62. The reduction equals five percent per year (or 5/12 of one percent per month). To avoid the reduction, you can postpone payment. You can later apply for the benefit by writing to us or filing an "Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement," Form RI 92-19. You should submit the form two months before you want the benefit to begin.
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  • You can be paid for any unused annual leave you hold at retirement.
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  • You should carefully read the information that is part of your retirement application, and complete and submit the forms.  You do not need to submit a separate letter of resignation.  A completed and signed retirement application is equivalent to a letter of resignation.

    If you are eligible for a retirement benefit, you should not resign, intending to submit a retirement application later. This is because if you die after separating but before filing the application no life insurance, no survivor benefit, and no survivor health insurance coverage would be available to your survivor(s). You should, however, complete all the other required "exit procedures."

    Read more about applying for retirement.

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  • Check with your local personnel service center to verify that you have enough service and meet the age requirements for retirement eligibility. They can provide personalized assistance because they have your employment records.

    Your local personnel service center will also talk with you about the date your annuity payments can start based on the date you pick.

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  • The program will become effective at the time set in the regulations to be issued.  Implementation of the program is an important goal of OPM, and this will be accomplished as soon as possible.  
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  • At your request, your employer should provide you with any of the following estimates that apply to your circumstances. However, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management determines the actual amount of the benefit that is payable based on the laws and regulations and on the certified record of your employment.

    • If you receive military retired pay, an estimate of your benefit with and without credit for military service.
    • If you are considering deposit for military service after 1956, an estimate of your benefit with and without credit for the military service you performed after December 31, 1956.
    • If you are considering a deposit, under the Civil Service Retirement System, for federal employment before October 1, 1982, estimates of the amount of the deposit and the amount of your benefit with and without the reduction for the deposit.

    Deposit service ending before October 1, 1982 and covered by the CSRS.

    • If you are considering a deposit, under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), for federal employment on/after October 1, 1982, estimates of the amount of the deposit and the amount of your benefit with and without credit for the employment period.

      Deposit service ending after October 1, 1982 and covered by the CSRS.

    • If you are considering repaying, under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), a refund of retirement contributions for employment ending before October 1990, an estimate of the amount of the redeposit and your benefit with and without the actuarial reduction taken if the redeposit is not paid.

      Redeposit service ending before October 1, 1990 and covered by CSRS.

    • If you are considering repaying, under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), a refund of retirement contributions for employment ending after October 1990, an estimate of the amount of the redeposit and your benefit with and without credit for the employment period covered by the refund.

      Redeposit service ending on/after October 1, 1990 and covered by CSRS.

    • If you are considering a deposit, under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), for federal employment before 1989, estimates of the amount of the deposit and the amount of your benefit with and without credit for the employment period.

      Deposit service ending before January 1, 1989 and covered by FERS.

    • If you are considering providing less than the maximum annuity payable after your death to a husband, wife, or ex-spouse, estimates of the amount of the survivor's annuity and the amount of your annuity with and without the reduction for full survivor's benefit.

      View information on family benefits.

    • If you are considering providing a survivor annuity to someone who has a financial interest in your continued life, an estimate of your benefit with and without the reduction for this election.

      View information on family benefits.

    • If you have made voluntary contributions and can elect to purchase additional annuity with those contributions, benefit estimates with and without credit for the voluntary contributions.

      View information about voluntary contributions.

    • If you can elect to receive the alternative form of annuity, an estimate of your benefit with and without the lump sum payment of retirement contributions.

      View information about the alternative form of annuity.

    • For employees, under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), who can elect to receive an annuity supplement, an estimate of the monthly amount payable to age 62.

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  • You can keep your basic life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met:

    • You have coverage when you retire;
    • You have not converted coverage to an individual policy;
    • Your annuity begins within 30 days or, (However if you are retiring under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) plus 10 provision of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and you have postponed the commencing date of your annuity, health and life insurance coverage is suspended until your annuity begins) and,
    • You were insured for life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available.

    You can keep your optional life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met:

    • You are eligible to continue your basic coverage; and,
    • You were covered by the optional life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available, if less than five years.
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  • When we receive your retirement application, we will notify you and will provide a civil service claim identification number (a seven-digit number preceded by "CSA"). You must use that identification number whenever you contact OPM about your annuity.
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