Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.

Retirement FAQs

Go to our new customer support center to get answers to top questions, learn about popular topics, and find resources for more support.

Pre-Retirement

  • Deposits and redeposits (including for military service) must be satisfied (either by payments or annuity reduction, as applicable) prior to entry into Phased Retirement status.  Any reduction in annuity or loss of service credit at the time of entry into Phased Retirement will be permanent for the employee.  No deposits or redeposits can be made by the employee at a later time, including at the time of full retirement.   However, in the case of a Phased Retiree’s death-in-service, the survivors can make deposits or redeposits on the same basis as if the decedent had not been a Phased Retiree.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Employees participating in phased retirement will be paid for the part-time service they continue to provide the government and will receive additional credit for that service toward their full retirement.  These employees will also begin receiving annuity payments, consistent with the retirement benefits they were entitled to prior to entering phased retirement status, pro-rated for the portion of the workweek they spend in retirement.  When the Phased Retiree fully retires, the revised annuity calculation will provide pro-rated service credit for additional time worked during phased retirement. This law incents participants with valuable experience to phase into retirement by providing phased retirees with more income than they would earn working part time, and more income than they would earn by fully retiring. Once these individuals fully retire, they will be entitled to a greater annuity than if they had fully retired at the time of transition to Phased Retirement, but less than if they had continued employment on a full-time basis during the period of Phased Retirement.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • FEHB and FEGLI will stay with the employing agency.  FEGLI benefit coverage amounts will be based upon the full time salary for the position.  The FEHB employer contribution will be the same as for full-time employees.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • To make this workable and avoid intractable administrative problems, no survivor benefits can be based upon a Phased Retirement annuity.  If the individual dies prior to full retirement, survivor benefits will be those applicable for an employee who died in service, with provision for minor computational adjustments necessitated by the unique nature of Phased Retirement.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Phased Retirement Annuities will be subject to court orders providing for division, allotment, assignment, execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process on the same basis as other annuities.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Unless you choose FERS, there is no additional cost to you. If you choose FERS, you will only incur additional costs if you decide to make additional TSP contributions (known as make-up contributions). These are contributions that you could have made if you had been correctly covered by FERS. Of course, you're the one who chooses how much additional contributions you want to make.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • If you are a current employee, you should contact your human resources office. If you have separated from federal service or are currently a retiree, you should contact OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  The phone lines are open from 7:40 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time). 
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Periodic medical exams, if required, are paid out of your pocket.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Look at any of your Standard Form 50s (Notifications of Personnel Actions). There's a block that shows your retirement plan. It's Block 30 on all current SF-50s. You'll see a code followed by an acronym that represents your retirement plan. Most Federal employees are in one of four possible retirement plans. They are: Retirement Plan Commonly Called SF-50 Civil Service Retirement System CSRS Code 1 or 6 Civil Service Retirement System and Social Security CSRS Offset Code C or E Social Security Only FICA Code 2 Federal Employees Retirement System FERS Code K, L, M, or N "FICA" indicates Social Security coverage on your SF-50. For example, your retirement coverage as it appears on the SF-50 may be CSRS and FICA instead of CSRS Offset or FERS and FICA instead of FERS. If your agency does not use Standard Form 50s, you can find your retirement plan on the form it uses to notify you of personnel actions.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • You can go ahead and process any error that lasted for less than 3 years of service after December 31, 1986 with one exception. If the error is one where the employee was erroneously put in FERS during the time that the employee could have voluntarily elected FERS (these are sometimes called "deemed FERS" errors), then you should not correct these types of errors. Do not correct the deemed FERS errors even if the error lasted for less than 3 years of service. In the coming months, OPM will issue detailed instructions for correcting each type of error that is affected by FERCCA. Please do not begin correcting coverage errors affected by FERCCA until you receive OPM's instructions.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The earliest a person can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62. Your Social Security retirement benefit is reduced if you begin receiving them before your full retirement age. Full retirement age has been age 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age will gradually increase until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959. Year of Birth Full Retirement Age 1937 or earlier 65 1938 65 and 2 months 1939 65 and 4 months 1940 65 and 6 months 1941 65 and 8 months 1942 65 and 10 months 1943 - 1954 66 1955 66 and 2 months 1956 66 and 4 months 1957 66 and 6 months 1958 66 and 8 months 1959 66 and 10 months 1960 or later 67
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • FERCCA is the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act. It is a law that addresses the long-term harm to retirement planning created when employees are put in the wrong retirement plan.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • TSP stands for the Thrift Savings Plan. The TSP is an important benefit designed to help you save for your future. The TSP is comparable to a private-sector tax-deferred 401(k) plan. You can participate in the TSP if you are covered by FERS, CSRS, or CSRS Offset. The TSP offers all participants:
    • Tax deferral on contributions
    • A choice of 5 investment funds
    • A loan program
    • In-service withdrawals for financial hardship or after age 59
    • A choice of post-separation withdrawal options
    • The ability to transfer money from other eligible retirement savings plans into your TSP account
    The TSP is especially important for FERS employees because it is one of three parts of your retirement coverage. Beginning July 1, 2001, FERS employees can contribute as much as 11% of basic pay each pay period, up to the IRS annual limit. (The IRS limit for 2001 is $10,500.) As a FERS employee, you can receive 2 types of agency contributions to your TSP account, which together can equal as much as 5 percent of your basic pay.
    1. Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions. When you become eligible, your agency automatically deposits into your TSP account an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay each pay period, even if you do not contribute your own money. After 3 years of Federal civilian service (or 2 years in some cases), you are vested in these contributions and their earnings.
    2. Agency Matching Contributions. When you become eligible, your agency will match the first 3% of basic pay you contribute each pay period dollar for dollar. Each dollar of the next 2% of basic pay will be matched 50 cents on the dollar. You are immediately vested in the matching contributions.
    CSRS employees do not receive any Government contributions in their TSP accounts. However, CSRS employees can still take advantage of the TSP to provide a source of retirement income in addition to your CSRS retirement benefit. Beginning July 1, 2001, CSRS employees can contribute up to 6% of basic pay each pay period.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Which retirement plan you belong in depends upon the type of appointment you have and your work history. The rules can be complicated. That's why some employees are in the wrong plan. Below are some of the common errors, broken down by retirement plan. Find your retirement plan, and see if you fit any of the situations listed. If you do, you may be in the wrong plan. But, remember there are exceptions to the general rules. You may be in the right retirement plan because you fall under one of the exceptions (like the one shown under CSRS Offset). Contact your Human Resources office. They can help you. If your retirement plan is: Then you may be in the wrong plan if you: CSRS Worked for the Government before 1984, but not on a permanent basis; or Left Federal employment for more than a year at any time after 1983; or Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment; orHave no Federal civilian employment before 1984; or Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis. (See the work schedule block on your SF-50.) CSRS Offset Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment; orHave no Federal civilian employment before 1984; or Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis. (See the work schedule block on your SF-50.); or Did not work for the Government for a total of 5 years before 1987 (don't count your military service). Exception: If you worked under CSRS, left the Government, and your agency placed you in CSRS Offset on your return, your CSRS Offset coverage is probably correct if you had 5 years Government service when you left.) FERS Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less; Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis; or Have worked for the Government for at least 5 years before 1987 (not including military service) unless you elected to transfer to FERS during a FERS Open Seasons or after a break in service.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Social Security benefits are based on earnings averaged over most of a worker's lifetime. Your actual earnings are first adjusted or "indexed" to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then the Social Security Administration calculates your average monthly indexed earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most. The Social Security Administration applies a formula to these earnings and arrives at your basic benefit, or "primary insurance amount" (PIA). This is the amount you would receive at your full retirement age. As you can see from the above, the benefit computation is complex and there are no simple tables that we can give you that will tell you how much you will receive. However, there are several ways you can find out how your Social Security retirement benefit is figured:
    1. Request a Social Security Statement. You can make your request over the Internet and the Social Security Administration will mail you a detailed report of your lifetime earnings and an estimate of Social Security retirement, disability and dependent benefits: www.ssa.gov/statement.
    2. Compute your own Social Security benefit estimate using a program that you can download from your PC: www.ssa.gov/OACT/ANYPIA/anypia.html.
    3. How Your Retirement Benefit Is Figured is a publication that walks you through the formula for computing your retirement benefit: www.ssa.gov/pubs/10070.html.
    4. See examples of how Social Security benefits are computed at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/ProgData/retirebenefit1.html.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.


Total Count: 216, Number of Pages: 15, Page: 6
Control Panel