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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • Use our online calculator to compute the tax free portion of your annuity.
    http://apps.opm.gov/tax_calc/index.cfm

    Read about how the tax free portion of your annuity is determined.

    Your retirement contributions are shown on the 1099R form we send you each January for tax filing purposes. 

    You can find information about computing the taxable portion of your annuity by going to IRS Publication 721 (Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Retirement Benefits) on the Internal Revenue Service website.  Search for Publication 721 and refer to “Part II Rules for Retirees”.  You will find detailed information for disability and non-disability retirees, along with worksheets for computing the taxable portion.

    If your non-disability annuity started on/after July 2, 1986, a portion of each annuity payment is taxable and a portion is considered a tax-free recovery of your contributions to the retirement fund. If you retired under the disability provision, the disability annuity you receive from CSRS or FERS is taxable as wages until you reach minimum retirement age.  Your retirement contributions are shown on the 1099R form we send you each January for tax filing purposes. 

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  • Use Services Online to view your monthly annuity statement. This statement shows your current annuity payment, including the gross amount, up to 35 possible deductions or additions, and the net amount.

    The online statement reflects changes you made through the previous business day, unless the changes were made after the date for updating the monthly payment. Any changes you made after that date will be reflected in the statement for the next month's payment, when the change would be effective. Please refer to our payment schedule for information on the dates by which changes must be made in each month's payment.

    Your statement will also show required payment adjustments we make such as cost-of-living adjustments, health benefit premium changes, Federal income tax withholding table changes, and life insurance premium changes.

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  • You can be paid for any unused annual leave you hold at retirement.
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  • If your agency undergoes a major reorganization, reduction in force, or transfer of function, and a significant percentage of the employees will be separated, or will be reduced in pay, the head of your agency can ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to permit early optional retirement for eligible employees.

    If your agency gets approval to permit early optional retirements, eligible employees will be notified of the opportunity to retire voluntarily.


    Information about Early Optional Retirement under CSRS is available here

    Information about Early Optional Retirement under FERS is available here.

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  • Some of an employee’s spousal Social Security benefit may be offset if the employee has a government pension from work not covered by Social Security. The offset does not apply to the employee’s own Social Security benefit, only the benefit that comes from a spouse’s employment. If the Government Pension Offset applies, the spousal Social Security benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of any Federal pension based on employment not covered by Social Security.

    Some employees are exempt from the Government Pension Offset. They are employees who are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset, and those who elected to transfer to the FERS before January 1, 1988, or during the belated transfer period which ended June 30, 1988. Employees who were covered by the CSRS and who elected FERS coverage after June 30, 1988 must have five years of Federal employment covered by Social Security to be exempt from the offset.

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  • The survivor benefit you elected at retirement is no longer payable. A monthly survivor benefit would be payable to your former spouse after death if one is provided by court order or your new election.

    The following conditions must exist for your former spouse to receive a benefit:

    • You were married to your former spouse for at least nine months;
    • You performed at least 18 months of creditable civilian service;
    • Your former spouse to whom you were married less than 30 years has not remarried before age 55.

    Your annuity may be reduced if your former spouse was awarded a survivor annuity by a qualifying court order.

    If you retired on or after May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse for a marriage dissolved on or after May 7, 1985. If you are divorced after retirement from a spouse to whom you were married at retirement, we will honor the court order to the extent that your annuity was reduced at retirement. If you did not elect a survivor annuity for that person at retirement, your annuity will not be reduced.

    If you retired before May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a qualifying court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse in connection with a marriage that was dissolved on or after May 7, 1985, but only if you were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity at that time or your were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity before May 7, 1985.

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  • Survivor annuities are payable through the end of the month prior to the date of the event which caused the loss of eligibility. For example, if the remarriage or other event occurred in April, benefits would end on March 31.

    Survivor annuities payable to widows, widowers, and former spouses end if the survivor remarries before age 55 and was not married for at least 30 years to the deceased employee or annuitant. Widows, widowers, and former spouses who remarry after they reach age 55 continue to be eligible for survivor annuity benefits. The survivor annuity for a former spouse who is entitled because of a court order, ends if the terms of the court order are satisfied. Insurable interest annuities are payable for the life of the survivor.

    If an annuity to a surviving spouse ends for a remarriage, it can be restored if the remarriage ends. Before the benefit can be restored, the survivor must pay back any lump sum payment of retirement contributions, if applicable. Former spouse benefits that end because of a remarriage can never be restored. If you want your annuity restored, write to us and include a copy of the decree of divorce, annulment, or death certificate.

    Annuity benefits for children end when the child reaches age 18, marries, or dies. Survivor annuities are payable through the end of the month prior to the date of the event which caused the loss of eligibility. For example, if the child turns 18 on June 29, benefits would end on May 31.

    Benefits for student children, stop at the end of the month before the one in which the student child:

    • turns 22;
    • marries;
    • dies;
    • stops attending school;
    • transfers to a school that is not recognized;
    • changes to less than full-time attendance;
    • enters military service or a Government service academy; or
    • fails to submit certification of full-time school attendance.

    You must notify us immediately if any of the above events occurs to minimize the potential for an overpayment of benefits. Include your claim number and a copy of any appropriate record such as a marriage certificate.

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  • To qualify for payments from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you must submit a retirement application. They are available on our website, as follows:

    You should submit an application for immediate retirement as shown below.

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  • You should ask for a form SSA-7004-PC, Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement, from your local Social Security Office or visit their website at http://www.ssa.gov. If you submit this form, you will get a statement that provides information on your future eligibility for Social Security benefits and estimates of these benefits at specified dates. These estimates do not reflect any reduction for the Government Pension Offset or the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
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