Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
OPM works with your Agency's personnel and payroll office to process your annuity claim. Regardless of the type of retirement, there are actions your personnel office must take in order to process your retirement claim. 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.
Considerations when applying for disability retirement.
Early retirement outlines Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) and annuity computations as well as Discontinued Service.
Voluntary Retirement eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements.
If you are a former Federal employee who was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 or the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).
You should consider applying for disability retirement only after you have provided your employing agency with complete documentation of your medical condition and your agency has exhausted all reasonable attempts to retain you in a productive capacity, through accommodation or reassignment.
You must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for disability retirement:
You must complete the following forms:
Your employing agency will help you complete these forms and will forward the completed forms to OPM. However, it is your responsibility to obtain all of the information necessary for OPM to make a decision on your claim. This includes providing all of the required forms and documents.
Your application for disability retirement must be received by OPM within one year after the date of your separation. If you have been separated from Federal service for more than 31 days, your former employing agency may no longer have your personnel records and may not be able to recover them in time to process your disability retirement application and submit it to OPM within the one-year time limit. Therefore, you should submit your application directly to OPM rather than to your agency.
U.S. Office of Personnel ManagementRetirement Operations CenterPost Office Box 45Boyers, PA 16017
U.S. Office of Personnel ManagementRetirement Operations CenterPost Office Box 45Boyers, PA 16017
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When we approve your application for disability retirement, we may determine that based on your medical condition you will periodically have to provide us with current medical information in order to continue receiving benefits.
You are responsible for paying for any medical exams that are needed. If you do not fulfill the request for evidence of continuing disability, it is likely that your benefit payments could be suspended until your continuing eligibility is established.
You can submit an application for disability retirement within one year after your separation from employment provided you did not elect the alternative form of annuity with a lump sum payment equal to your retirement contributions. You and your former employing agency must submit evidence that shows you became disabled while employed in a position subject to FERS coverage, and you and your agency must provide evidence that you were unable to perform useful and efficient service because of disease or injury in the position you retired from. Your former agency will also have to certify that it could not reasonably accommodate your condition. Moreover, you must not have declined an offer of reassignment to a vacant position in the commuting area at the same grade or pay level and tenure.
If you change to disability retirement, you will lose your special retirement supplement. This supplement is not paid to individuals who retire on disability.
If you are under age 60, your benefit will stop if:
FERS disability benefits are computed in different ways depending on the annuitant’s age and amount of service at retirement. In addition, FERS disability retirement benefits are recomputed after the first twelve months and again at age 62, if the annuitant is under age 62 at the time of disability retirement.
You receive your “earned” annuity based on the general FERS annuity computation, as follows
60% of your high-3 average salary minus 100% of your Social security benefit for any month in which you are entitled to Social Security benefits
However, you are entitled to your “earned” annuity, if it is larger than this amount.
40% of your high-3 average salary minus 60% of your Social Security benefit for any month in which you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits.
However, you are entitled to your “earned” annuity, if it is larger than this amount.
If your actual service, plus the credit for time as a disability annuitant equals less than 20 years::1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service
If your actual service, plus the credit for time as a disability annuitant equals 20 or more years:1.1 percent of your high-3 average salary for each year of service
Total Service used in the computation:
Average Salary used in the computation:
Note: Disability annuities for individuals who performed service in an enhanced position such as law enforcement officer, firefighter, nuclear materials courier, air traffic controller, Capitol Police, or Supreme Court Policy will be credited at the higher 1.7% for that service.
If you are married, your benefit will be reduced for a survivor benefit, unless your spouse consented to your election of less than a full survivor annuity. If the total of the survivor benefit(s) you elect equals 50% of your benefit, your annuity is reduced by 10%. If the total equals 25%, the reduction is 5%.
If you have a CSRS component in your annuity, the CSRS portion of your benefit will be reduced by 10% of any deposit owed for CSRS non-deduction service performed before October 1, 1982, unless the deposit was paid before retirement.
If you are under age 62, and your annuity was computed using 60% of your high-3 average salary, COLA’s are not payable for the first 12 months. COLAs which occur after this 12-month period are payable. If you are age 62 at retirement or if you meet the age and service requirements for an immediate FERS annuity, all cost-of-living adjustments occurring after the commencing date of annuity are payable.
If you are under age 62 and your annuity benefits were computed using either 60% or 40% of your high-3 average salary, the Office of Personnel Management will reduce your monthly annuity by all or a portion of your Social Security benefits. While you are receiving an annuity computed using the 60% computation, OPM must reduce your monthly annuity by 100% of any Social Security disability benefit to which you are entitled. While you are receiving an annuity computed using the 40% computation, your monthly annuity will be reduced by 60% of any Social security disability benefit to which you are entitled. This reduction only applies for months in which you are concurrently entitled to both FERS and Social Security benefits.
Generally, you must decide which benefit is most advantageous for you and elect to receive that one. If you decide you want to receive Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. However, if your OWCP benefits stop, you can ask us to pay your FERS disability benefit. You can receive an OWCP “Scheduled Award” and the Office of Personnel Management benefits at the same time. Contact us to tell us if you are awarded workers' compensation benefits and see if you need to make an election between benefits.
Refer to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) for additional information about workers' compensation benefits.
If you have 10 or more years of service, you can retire at the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).
Under this type of retirement, your annuity will be reduced for each month that you are under age 62. The reduction is 5% per year (5/12 of a percent per month). However, your annuity will not be reduced if you completed at least 30 years of service, or if you completed at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60.
You can reduce or eliminate this age reduction if you choose to have your annuity begin at a date later than your Minimum Retirement Age. You can choose any beginning date between your MRA and 2 days before your 62nd birthday.
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.
The term “involuntary separation” means any separation against the will and without the consent of the employee, other than “for cause” for misconduct or delinquency. The most common cause of an involuntary separation is a reduction in force. Another frequent cause for an involuntary separation is when the location of an office or unit is moved to an area outside the commuting area of the old worksite*. Employees who decline reasonable offers of other positions are not eligible for discontinued service annuities.
*Exception: If, when you accepted your current position, you were placed under a general mobility agreement whereby you would be subject to geographic reassignment, you would not be eligible for discontinued service annuity rights if your position is moved to an area outside the commuting area.
If your agency
your separation would not be qualifying for discontinued service.
Geographic area that usually constitutes one area for employment purposes. It includes any population center (or two or more neighboring ones) and the surrounding localities in which people live and reasonably can be expected to travel back and forth daily in their usual employment.
Here is how the basic FERS annuity formula is calculated:
In addition to the regular reductions for survivor benefits, unpaid service and refunded service, your annuity would be subject to the following age reduction:
Eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements. If you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible for a voluntary immediate retirement benefit. An immediate annuity is one that begins within 30 days after your separation.
Note: Annuity is reduced by 5% for each year the employee is under age 62.)
If you have 10 or more years of service and are retiring at the Minimum Retirement Age, your annuity will be reduced for each month that you are under age 62. The reduction is 5% per year (5/12 of a percent per month). However, your annuity will not be reduced if you completed at least 30 years of service, or if you completed at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60. You can reduce or eliminate this age reduction by postponing the beginning date of your annuity.
You can reduce or eliminate the age reduction if you choose to have your annuity begin at a date later than the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). You can choose any beginning date between your MRA and 2 days before your 62nd birthday. However, you cannot begin your annuity while you are reemployed with the federal government.
You cannot continue your life insurance coverage unless you are receiving an annuity. Therefore, if you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, your life insurance enrollment will terminate. When your annuity begins, if you meet the usual requirements for continuing coverage into retirement at separation, the life insurance coverage you had when you separated from your employment will resume.
If you postpone the beginning date of your annuity, you will be eligible to temporarily continue your health benefits coverage for 18 months from the date of separation from your employing agency; however, you must contact your agency within 60 days and pay the total premium, plus a 2% administrative charge. When your annuity payments begin, if you had Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage for the 5 years of service immediately before you separated, you will again have the opportunity to enroll in a health benefits plan under the regular FEHB program, and OPM will pay the Government share of the premium.
If you already have Long Term Care Insurance Coverage when you separate for retirement, but postpone the commencing date of your annuity, your coverage will continue as long as you continue to pay premiums. If you are not enrolled in the Long Term Care Insurance Program when you separate for retirement, you can apply for enrollment anytime after your separation, even if you postpone the commencing date of your annuity.
If you delay your annuity beginning date, your annuity rate will not include any cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that occur before you begin to receive the annuity. Once your annuity begins, you will be entitled to COLAs on any portion of your annuity which was computed under CSRS rules. However, you will not receive COLAs on the FERS part of your benefit until you are 62.
If you defer receipt of your annuity and die before you begin to receive it, your spouse can still receive FERS survivor benefits.
Go to the Computation Page to see how an annuity is calculated.
You are eligible for a deferred annuity if you meet one of the following age and service requirements:
If you completed at least 10 years, but less than 30 years of creditable service before you left Federal service years, your annuity will be reduced if it begins before age 62. The only exception to this is if you had at least 20 years of service and your annuity begins when you reach age 60.
Your annuity will be reduced by 5/12 of 1 percent (5 percent per year) for each month by which your benefit commencing date precedes your 62nd birthday. However, you can postpone the commencing date of your annuity to reduce or eliminate this age reduction.
If you receive a deferred annuity, you are not eligible to continue any health benefits or life insurance coverage you had while employed.
Former employees who receive a deferred annuity are not eligible for the retiree annuity supplement.
The annuity begins either:
The annuity begins:
If you are married when your annuity begins, it will be computed with a reduction to provide a maximum survivor annuity (50 percent of your unreduced annuity) for your spouse upon your death. You can elect to provide a partial survivor annuity (25 percent of your unreduced annuity) or no survivor annuity; however, you must get your spouse's consent to elect either of these options. You can also elect a survivor annuity for a former spouse or an insurable interest survivor annuity.
Your deferred annuity is based on the length of service and high-3 average salary in effect when you separated from Federal service. Go to the FERS Computation page.
Use form RI 92-19, Application for Deferred or Postponed Retirement to apply for deferred or postponed retirement annuity under the Federal Employees Retirement System. For instructions on how to complete the RI 92-19, use form RI 92-19A, a pamphlet entitled Applying for Deferred or Postponed Retirement under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
Send your application to OPM approximately 60 days before you want your benefits to begin. Send your completed application to:
Office of Personnel Management Federal Employees Retirement System P.O. Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045
If you have less than 10 years of creditable service or no eligible survivor, any contributions remaining in the retirement fund are paid in a lump sum (with interest) to your designated beneficiary or an individual in order of precedence as set by law.
If you have 10 or more years of creditable service for which withholdings or deposits remain in the Retirement fund (5 years of which is creditable civilian service) and your spouse was married to you at the time of your separation from Federal service, he/she would be eligible for a survivor annuity. Your surviving spouse may elect to receive a lump-sum payment of your retirement contributions in lieu of a survivor annuity.
The FERS annuity supplement is paid in addition to gross monthly Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity benefits. It represents what you would receive for your FERS civilian service from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is calculated as if you were eligible to receive SSA benefits on the day you retired. Eligibility for the annuity supplement continues until the earlier of:
If you retire voluntarily on an immediate annuity which is not reduced for age, you may be eligible for the annuity supplement, in addition to your regular monthly FERS benefit. You may also receive the supplement if you retired involuntarily before attaining your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) or voluntarily because of a major reorganization, reduction in force, or an early retirement for Members of Congress. However, in these three instances, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement until you reach your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). If you receive a deferred benefit, a disability benefit or an immediate MRA+10 benefit, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement.
If your annuity has a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and a Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) component, you can still receive an annuity supplement. However, you must have completed one full calendar year of service subject to FERS computation rules.
The FERS annuity supplement is computed as if you were age 62 and fully insured for a social security benefit when the supplement begins. OPM first estimates what your full career (40 years) social security benefit would be. Then we calculate the amount of your civilian service under FERS and reduce the estimated full career social security benefit accordingly. For example, if your estimated full career social security benefit would be $1,000 and you had worked 30 years under FERS, we would divide 30 by 40 (.75) and multiply ($1,000 x .75 = $750). The result would be your FERS annuity supplement, prior to any reductions.
Like social security benefits, the FERS annuity supplement is subject to an earnings test. It is reduced if you earn more than the social security exempt amount of earnings in the immediately preceding year. The supplement is reduced by $1.00 for every $2.00 of earnings over the minimum level. It is possible that the supplement could reduce to $0. However, the FERS basic benefit will not be reduced. If you are receiving a supplement, you must report your earnings to OPM. You will receive instructions on how to report your earnings, once you begin receiving the annuity supplement.
The amount you may earn without affecting your FERS annuity supplement is determined by the Social Security Administration each year. It increases with the annual increases in average wages for the national workforce.
The FERS basic benefit is not considered earnings when determining your earnings for the earnings test. Earnings for the year consist of the sum of wages for service performed in the year, plus all net earnings from self-employment for the year, minus any net loss from self-employment for the year.