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Benefits Officers Center



What's New in Retirement Benefits

FEHB Self + One for Annuitants

Coverage under a Self Plus One enrollment became available in January 2016. Annuitants enrolled in FEHB can change to Self Plus One during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season or if they experience a qualifying life event. Read more

Phased Retirement

Phased Retirement is a human resources tool that allows full-time employees to move to part-time work schedules while beginning to draw retirement benefits. This new tool will allow managers to better provide unique mentoring opportunities for employees while increasing access to the decades of institutional knowledge and experience that retirees can provide.

Online Course

Benefits Officers Training and Development is very happy to announce the availability of our first on-line course—CSRS Offset.

OPM's CSRS Offset training covers the major aspects of the CSRS Offset program from a benefits officer's point of view including:

  • Coverage determinations
  • Decision factors
  • Service requirements and other benefits
  • Annuity provisions
  • Offset computations
  • Interrelationship with Social Security

Register for the course at our secure on-line registration site.

Retirement In Focus

Federal Ballpark Estimate

OPM developed the Federal Ballpark Estimate,  a savings goal worksheet.  You can use the Federal Ballpark Estimate to automatically calculate estimates of future Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirement benefits and Thrift Savings Plan account balances.  It will also let you know how well you are doing in meeting your savings goal.  The Federal Ballpark Estimate was developed in partnership with the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) of the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

Retirement Financial Literacy and Education Strategy

OPM has developed a retirement financial literacy and education strategy for Federal employees.  The plan is designed to educate Federal employees on the need for retirement savings and investment, provide information on how to plan for retirement and how to calculate the retirement investment needed to meet their retirement goals.  View additional information on the Benefits Officers Training page.

Implementation of Retirement Coverage Error Corrections Legislation

The online FERCCA Database is now closed.  Agencies are encouraged to continue to notify and educate employees on FERCCA and to review employee's personnel records as needed.  Agencies are reminded to notify your agency's headquarters level Benefits Officer if you identify any individual(s) who have a retirement coverage error and are eligible for relief under FERCCA; the Benefits Officer will then notify OPM.

Visit our FERCCA Home Page for further information and to view the FERCCA FAQ's.   The FERCCA Homepage provides you with everything you need to know about FERCCA and it's implementation.  We suggest that you bookmark it for future reference.

Visit the Insure site for more information on the other part of this legislation, long-term care insurance.

Benefits Administration Information Online Mailing List

Are you registered for the Benefits Administration Information (BENEFTS INFO) online mailing list?  The Benefits Administration Information list emails information, primarily Benefits Administration Letters (BAL), to subscribers. While the primary customers for the Benefits Administration Information list are agency benefits officers, anyone, anywhere can subscribe to the list. Benefits Administration Letters will be sent to list subscribers automatically.

Information about this mailing list can be found in BAL 00-701.

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Training Videos

The Benefits Officers Development and Outreach (BODO)’s complete library of training streamed videos for the human resources professional are available on OPM’s YouTube Channel.

Future videos will be announced through our Benefits Administration Information mailing list. To add your name to the listserv, choose BENEFITSINFO from the drop down menu and provide your name and email address. 

BODO training events, online courses, and registration information can be found in our Registration Portal. 

Benefits Administration Letters

Recent Benefits Administration Letters
Date BAL Number Subject
February 2020 20-103 Additional Problems Encountered in Documentation for Disability Retirements
May 2020 20-102 Temporary Changes to Retirement Application Processing While Operating Under Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Telework Policies
November 2019 20-101 Annual Changes
September 2019 19-107 Process Change for Handling Reemployed Annuitants
Attachment 1 - Notification to OPM of Reemployment of Annuitant
Attachment 2 - Notification to OPM of Separation of a Reemployed Annuitant - No Benefits Payable
May 2019 19-106 Agency Checklist for Phased Retirement
June 2019 19-104 Analysis of Agency Financial Education and Literacy Plans 2019
May 2019 19-102 Additional Guidance on Phased Retirement
February 2019 19-101 Annual Changes
September 2018 18-103 FERS Unused Sick Leave and the 1.1% Annuity Formula
May 2018 18-101 Annual Changes
March 2017 17-102 Annual Changes
January 2017 17-101 Additional Guidance on Military Deposits
November 2016 16-102 OPM No Longer Accepting Corrections on Certain Benefits Election Forms
January 2016 16-101 Annual Changes
January 2015 15-104
Subject Analysis of Agency Financial Education and Literacy Plans 2015
Attachment 1: Summary Report of Agency Financial Education and Literacy Plans 2015
Attachment 2: Summary Financial Education Plan Data Elements
15-102 Additional Items to Report on Individual Retirement Records (IRRs) in Cases of Separation, Removal, or Resignation
15-101 Annual Changes
October 2014 14-113 Revised Present Value Factors and Discount Factors
Attachment 1: Discount Factors
14-112 Standard Form (SF) 3116: Phased Employment/Phased Retirement Status Elections
14-111 New CSRS and FERS Instruction Pamphlets Available for Completing Applications for Phased Retirement and Full Retirement Status from Phased Employment
14-110 Instructions for Personnel and Payroll Offices
14-209 Phased Retirement and Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Guidelines
14-208 Phased Retirement and Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program Guidelines
August 2014 14-109 Phased Retirement Instructions for Personnel and Payroll Offices
14-108 Phased Retirement Employee Frequently Asked Questions
July 2014 14-107 Federal Employees Retirement System-Further Revised Annuity Employees {FRAE) Coverage Determination Guidance
March 2014 14-106 Data Element Values for New Phased Retirement Program
February 2014 14-105 Updates to the Data Exchange Gateway and Important Reminders
Attachment 1: DEG Data Set
Attachment 2: Cover Sheet
14-104 Dual Entitlement to Disability and Immediate Optional Retirement
January 2014 14-103 Documenting a Retiring Employee’s Eligibility to Continue Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Enrollment into Retirement
Attachment 1: Instructions for FEHB Information and Certification Memorandum
Attachment 2: FEHB Information and Certification Memorandum
14-102 Federal Employees Retirement System- Further Revised Annuity Employees (FRAE)
14-101 Annual Changes
July 2013 13-203 Coverage of Same-Sex Spouses
June 2013 13-202 CLER Enhancement to Provide Premium Payment Data to Carriers
Attachment 1: Centralized Enrollment Clearinghouse (CLER) Payroll Office Enrollment File Layout
13-103 Military Deposits
13-102 FERS Revised Annuity
February 2013 13-101 Annual Changes
13-301 March 2013 Headcount
January 2013 13-801 The Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS): 2013 Administrative Fees

Financial Literacy

Financial Planning Tools

This listing of financial literacy resources provides external links as a convenience to our audience. The appearance of external links on this page does not constitute an endorsement by the Office of Personnel Management of the linked websites, or the information, advice, products or services contained therein. This website provides links to government and non-government websites as a public service only. The Office of Personnel Management neither controls nor guarantees the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in these website links.

Whether you just started working or are planning for retirement, the following resources are useful guidelines to help you make decisions about planning and saving during all stages of life.

New Employees


  • Listen to FDIC's Money Smart Podcast Network to learn about the basics of borrowing money wisely, using a spending plan to achieve financial goals, and how to use banking products effectively.
  • Find Tips on How to Save Smart for Retirement and how to make saving for retirement a habit.
  • Review Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement to learn about the advantage of starting early.
  • Get familiar with retirement issues and figure out how much you may need when you retire by reading the Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning guide.
  • Do you have any emergency savings? Use an Emergency Savings tool to help you determine how much emergency savings you may need and how you can begin saving towards this important goal.


Post Retirement

Other Resources

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General Resources

  • Publications and Forms – CSRS/FERS Handbook, Benefits Administration Letters (BALs), pamphlets, and forms
  • FERRCA – Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA) homepage provides everything you need to know about FERCCA procedures and legislation
  • HR Resources – Quick links for Benefits Officers to OPM retirement and insurance pages and other agency websites
  • Tools and Aids – Federal retirement tools and aids for Benefits Officers
  • Training – Retirement workshops for Human Resources Specialists

Agency Audit Resources

Agency Audit Monthly Report – This report reflects the number of non-disability retirement application packages audited and the associated error rate for an agency that had at least 15 cases reviewed in a specified month in the current fiscal year.

The below list highlights key resources available for Human Resources Offices and Payroll Offices on preparing and submitting retirement application packages:

Benefits Administration Letters (BALs)

  • BAL 22-101, Changes to Acceptable Signature Requirements on Retirement Processing Forms
  • BAL 22-101 Appendix A: Acceptable Forms with Electronic Signatures from Agencies and Payroll Offices
  • BAL 22-101 Appendix B: Examples of Acceptable Electronic/Digital Signatures
  • BAL 22-101 Appendix C: Common Questions Concerning Permanent Changes to Acceptable Signature Requirements on Retirement Processing Forms
  • BAL 21-104, Additional Guidance Regarding Certification of Service Performed as a Law Enforcement Officer, Firefighter, Nuclear Materials Courier, Customs and Border Protection Officer (535 Service), or Air Traffic Controller
  • BAL 17-101, Additional Guidance on Military Deposits
  • BAL 16-102, OPM No Longer Accepting Corrections on Certain Benefits Election Forms
  • BAL 15-102, Additional Items to Report on Individual Retirement Records (IRRs) in Cases of Separation, Removal, or Resignation
  • BAL 14-105, Updates to the Data Exchange Gateway (DEG) and Important Reminders
  • BAL 14-105 Attachment 1: DEG Data Set
  • BAL 14-105 Attachment 2: FEHB Cover Sheet
  • BAL 14-103, Documenting a Retiring Employee’s Eligibility to Continue Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Enrollment into Retirement
  • BAL 14-103 Attachment 1: Instructions for FEHB Information and Certification Memorandum
  • BAL 14-103 Attachment 2: FEHB Information and Certification Memorandum
  • BAL 12-103, Submitting Healthy Retirement Application Packages - Revised
  • BAL 12-103 Attachment A: CSRS and FERS Development Checklist and Log
  • BAL 12-103 Attachment B: Annotated CSRS and FERS Development Checklist
  • BAL 12-103 Attachment C: CSA Document Order for Retirement Package Submissions
  • BAL 12-102, Acceptance of Photocopies of Signed Documents in Retirement Application Packages and other Agency Submissions
  • BAL 11-103, Authority to Redeposit Refunds under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
  • BAL 02-318, Additional Reporting Requirements for Offset Employees who Participate in HB-PC
  • BAL 02-304, CSRS Withholdings for CSRS-Offset Employees Who are HB-PC Participants
  • BAL 01-106, Action on SF 2806s and SF 3100s When There is a Payroll Office Change

CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices

  • Chapter 40 – Planning and Applying for Retirement
  • Chapter 42 – MRA + 10 Retirement
  • Chapter 43 – Early Voluntary Retirement
  • Chapter 44 – Discontinued Service Retirement
  • Chapter 46 – Special Retirement Provisions for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Air Traffic Controllers, and Military Reserve Technicians
  • Chapter 81 – Individual Retirement Records and Registers of Separations and Transfers

Information Sheets

Retirement and Insurance (RI) Forms

  • RI 38-86, Proof of Marriage for the Purpose of Obtaining Retirement Benefits

Training Videos

Suggestions for information and services that you would like to see added to these pages should be directed to the Benefits Officers Liaison and Development group at

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