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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • 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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  • If you are receiving regular payments and you have not received your temporary numeric password, you need to contact us for help. If you need to reset your complex password, select the "Forgot Password" link on the main Services Online page.

    This password reset tool requires that you have an email address on file and have already established your security questions.

    Do not request a new Password if:

    • You have already requested a password by mail within the last 7 days or, for requests by email, if you have requested a password by mail within the last 4 days;
    • You have called the Retirement Operations Center and requested a new password;
    • You have already requested a password by email within the last 24 hours.

    By requesting a new password in any of the above instances, you will further delay your access to SOL.

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  •  If your 1099R Statement Box 2.a for the Taxable Amount is marked as 'Unknown'; this means that OPM did not calculate the tax-free portion of your annuity.   Some of the most common reasons for not calculating the tax-free portion of your annuity: 

    • Your case is a Disability Retirement
    • You retired prior to November 19, 1996
    • You have Voluntary Contributions
    • Apportionment was paid to your former spouse(s)
    • Your case has not been finalized and you are in Interim pay status
    • You have Survivor benefits payable and/or
    • Your case is an Office of Workers Compensation case

    OPM CAN NOT provide tax advice.  Please contact the Internal Revenue Service toll free at 1-800-829-1040 to speak with an agent who will provide free tax advice. 

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  • If you meet the eligibility requirements for a retirement benefit, you are eligible to receive an annuity based on your length of service and your high-3 average salary. The information in your application is used to determine if you are applying for a disability option, a regular or early-out option, or a discontinued service annuity. It is also used to check the service listed on your payroll records.
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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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  • You can help reduce delays in processing by submitting your application in advance and by making sure your Official Personnel Folder (OPF) is complete. If you submit your paperwork early, your personnel and payroll offices will be able to complete their action before your retirement date.

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  • If you are not receiving social security benefits, you can have Medicare premiums withheld from your annuity payments. We must receive a request for the withholding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We cannot withhold premiums based on your direct request or even one from the Social Security Administration. However, the social security district office may be able to give you additional information.
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  • You can use Retirement Services Online at https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov.  You will need your claim number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use the self-service website.

    If you forgot your PIN, you can request a new one by mail here: https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov/Security/requestpassword.aspx.  Alternatively, you can call the Retirement Operations Center at 1-888-767-6738 and request a new PIN.  The phone lines are open from 7:40 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time).
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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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