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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • To understand the concept of Phased Retirement, consider two half-time employees who fill one full-time job.  Employee one retires while employee two continues working.  Employee one receives an annuity based on half-time employment, and employee two continues to work half-time for half-pay.  Eventually, employee two retires, and receives an annuity based upon half-time service, including credit for the time worked after employee one retired.  Now assume that employee one and employee two are the same person.  That is in essence how Phased Retirement operates.

     While there are additional computational details, these are the basics.  At entry into Phased Retirement, the employee’s annuity will be completed as if fully retired and then divided by two.  That annuity would be paid while the individual worked a half time schedule receiving half pay.

     When the Phased Retiree fully retires, there will be a computation of the annuity that would be payable if the employee had been employed full time and then divided by two prior to adjustment for survivor benefits.  That amount would then be added to the original Phased Retirement Annuity, and that combined amount would then provide the basis for survivor annuity adjustment and benefits.

    The individual’s income during partial and full retirement appropriately reflects the individual’s situation.  During the partial retirement period, the income will be between full retirement and full employment, and the Phased Retiree would be increasing their lifetime retirement income.  At the time of full retirement, the individual would be appropriately compensated for the value of both full-time and part-time service, with an annuity greater than if they had fully retired at the time of transition to Phased Retirement, but less than if the individual had continued employment on a full-time basis during the period of Phased Retirement.

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  • Yes. After you retire, you will still have the opportunity to change your enrollment from one plan to another during an annual open season. You cannot change to another plan simply because you retired.
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  • If at age 62 you are eligible for Social Security, we will recompute your retirement benefit to "offset" any part of your Social Security benefit that is based on your years of Federal service under the offset plan.
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    • The benefit is not reduced if it begins after your 60th birthday and you have at least 20 years of service or you reach the Minimum Retirement Age and have 30 years of service. Delay of the benefit can be used to avoid all or part of the reduction for retirement before age 62 that would otherwise have been applied.
    • Your life insurance enrollment will stop until the annuity begins. Once the annuity begins, the life insurance coverage you had when you stopped working will resume if you are eligible.
    • Your health benefits can be temporarily continued under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage for 18 months. You must pay the full cost of coverage, including both the employee and government shares, plus a two percent administrative charge. Your employer will collect the premiums and maintain this coverage.
    • When your payments begin, if you are otherwise eligible to continue coverage, you can again enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program and we will pay the government share of the premiums.
    • If you do not file an application before your death, the rights of your surviving family members would be protected because you would be considered a retiree.
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  • Your retirement contributions are not taxable, but interest included in the payment is taxable. You should contact the Internal Revenue Service for additional tax information.
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  • For more information regarding Federal income taxes, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call the IRS on 1-800-829-1040.
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  • In many cases, after receiving the report of a retiree's death, we can start monthly payments to those who are eligible based on the records we have on file. In every case, we will tell you what benefits are payable and provide the necessary forms and help to apply for benefits.

    If you are the survivor of an employee who has passed away while working for the Federal Government, please contact the personnel office of the Federal agency where the employee worked. You should complete the following form-

    If the employee was covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) at the time of death:

    Application for Death Benefits/CSRS, Standard Form (SF) 2800 [806 KB]

    If the employee was covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) at the time of death:

    Application for Death Benefits/FERS, Standard Form (SF) 3104 [741 KB]

    If you are the survivor of an employee who has passed away after separating from a position with the Federal Government under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), but before receiving any retirement benefits, you should file the following form-

    Application for Death Benefits/FERS, Standard Form (SF) 3104 [741 KB]

    Attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and a copy of the certificate of the marriage to the widow or widower. Give the application to the personnel office. A widow or widower who is claiming benefits for himself or herself and on behalf of children should file one application.

    If a lump sum payment is due following the death of someone who passed away after leaving Government service but before retirement, please complete the Application for Death Benefits, Standard Form (SF) 2800 [806 KB] and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Send it to this address.

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  • We will send you a personalized statement titled "Your Federal Retirement Benefits". It details, among other things, how much your monthly payment will be. It also confirms such things as health and life insurance coverage, and provides information you will need to prepare your tax returns.
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  • Contact your agency’s Benefits Officer.  A complete list of Benefits Officers by agency can be found at http://apps.opm.gov/abo/.

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  • Your personnel office must take the following actions to process your retirement application:

    • Complete the "Agency Check List of Immediate Retirement Procedures," Standard Form 2801, Schedule D (CSRS) or 3701, Schedule D (FERS);

    • Prepare and obtain your signature on the "Certified Summary of Federal Service," Standard Form 2801-1 (CSRS) or 3701-1 (FERS);

    • Verify any service not fully documented in your OPF; [Note:If documentation is missing, verification may be obtained by contacting federal record centers. If the personnel office is unable to obtain verification, we will complete verification upon receipt of your retirement application and records. This process will cause a delay in processing of your claim.]

    • Certify and transfer your coverage under the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program to OPM;

    • Transfer your enrollment under the Federal Employees' Health Benefits (FEHB) program to OPM;

    • Prepare Standard Form (SF) 50, "Notification of Personnel Action."; and

    • Send all of your retirement materials to your payroll office.

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