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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

  • Cost-of-Living Adjustments are effective each December first. The adjustment appears in your payment on the first business day of January, which is when your benefit for December is paid. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and FERS Special Cost-of-Living Adjustments are not provided until age 62, except for disability, survivor benefits, and other special provision retirements. FERS disability retirees get the adjustment, except when they are receiving a disability annuity based on 60 percent of their high-3 average salary. Also, under FERS, if you have a CSRS component, the component is subject to the CSRS COLA calculation.
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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 contributed to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you will get interest on the refund of those contributions if you worked more than one year. Interest is paid at the same rate that is paid for government securities. See the variable interest rates.

    If you contributed to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) while you worked, interest will be included in the refund of those contributions if you have more than one but less than five years of service. Interest is paid at three percent.

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  • This list shows the possible withholdings from or adjustments to your CSRS or FERS annuity payment. The list provides a description of the withholdings or adjustments and the code that is used for listing them on your annuity adjustment notice.

    However, it does not include the enrollment codes for plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. See our web pages at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp to obtain information about health insurance benefits online.

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  • Voluntary contributions are payments made to the retirement fund in addition to the deductions that are withheld from pay. You can make these contributions only if you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and do not owe a deposit for a period of time when deductions were not withheld from your pay. To make voluntary contributions, you should submit a Standard Form 2804 to your employer.

    You can make voluntary contributions in multiples of $25. Total contributions cannot exceed 10 percent of your pay.

    You can purchase additional annuity of $7 per year for each $100 of voluntary contributions, plus 20 cents for each full year you are over age 55 when you retire. By electing to take a reduction in the additional annuity, you can also purchase additional annuity for a surviving spouse who may receive a benefit after your death.

    Interest is paid on voluntary contributions at the rate of three percent annually until December 31, 1984. After that date, a variable interest rate is compounded annually on December 31st until service ends or a refund is paid. View the table of variable interest rates.

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  • You can cancel or decrease your coverage at any time. You cannot increase your coverage.
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  • If you were under 62 when your disability benefit began, and were not eligible for a voluntary immediate benefit, your benefit will be recomputed after you have been retired for 12 months. The recomputed annuity will be 40 percent of your high-3 average salary minus 60 percent of your monthly Social Security benefit, or your earned benefit, whichever is higher.

    At age 62, your benefit is recomputed as though you had continued working until age 62. (Your average salary is increased by all FERS Cost-of-Living Adjustments paid while you were disabled.)

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  • Services Online is our online tool for annuitants.  You will need your CSA or CSF number and a password.  If this is your first time using Services Online, you will need to setup your personal security questions. 

    Using Services Online, you can:

    • View and print your annuity statement
    • Start or change direct deposit and/or change financial institutions
    • Start or change Federal Income Tax withholding
    • Update your mailing address
    • Update your email address
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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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  • We keep a separate mailing address to periodically send you information about your retirement and health and life insurance benefits. You can see the current record of your mailing address on Services Online. Please notify us if this address changes.

    (If you do not receive your payments through direct deposit, we ordinarily use the same address for mailings and payments.)

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