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Retirement FAQs

  • You may be able to receive retirement credit for active-duty military service after 1956 if you make a payment for that service. You must make the payment before you stop working for the government. You should ask your local servicing personnel center for help in determining whether to make this payment. They can provide personalized assistance because they have your employment records.
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  • When you apply for retirement, you should list your workers compensation on your application. Generally, you cannot receive workers' compensation and civil service annuity payments at the same time. You must decide which benefit is most advantageous and elect to receive that one. If you decide to receive workers' compensation benefits, payments from the Office of Personnel Management will be suspended. If your workers compensation benefit stops, you can ask us to pay your civil service annuity. You can continue to receive your civil service annuity payments when your workers' compensation is for a Scheduled Award. If you missed work before retirement for an on-the-job injury or illness and received workers' compensation, generally, you can receive credit for time in the computation of your civil service annuity.
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  • No. We have no authority to waive the requirements for continuing life insurance coverage. If you are not eligible to continue it, you will be given the chance to change it to an individual policy.
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  • If you were enrolled in a self and family plan at the time of your death AND a monthly survivor benefit is payable your spouse and eligible dependents can continue your health insurance.  If a monthly benefit is not payable, your spouse and eligible family members will have a one-time opportunity to enroll in private health coverage with the carrier.
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  • Yes, but not under your family enrollment. There are two possible options for your former spouse to remain enrolled. First, all former spouses are eligible for a Temporary Continuation of Coverage enrollment that lasts for 36 months. Second, former spouses eligible for a monthly court-ordered benefit (either a portion of your monthly benefit, or a survivor benefit upon your death) are eligible for former spouse Federal health insurance. You may wish to review the health benefits information in the Attorney's Handbook or view additional information about Health Insurance.
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  • OPM can refund Federal and/or state income tax withholding ONLY for the current year.  To request a refund, you can email us at retire@opm.gov or call us at 1-888-767-6738.  Remember to provide your CSA or CSF claim number or full SSN.  We can issue a refund of the monies withheld in the current year ONLY.  If you want a partial reimbursement, let us know the exact amount (no percentage) AND provide the exact period (for example 5/10/2011 to 12/31/2011).  Normally, the refund is issued as a separate payment. We cannot refund tax withholding for previous tax years.    To request a refund of your withholdings for previous tax years, please contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for Federal tax withholding refund and your State Revenue Office for state tax withholding refund.  If we are not currently withholding State tax, you must call your State Tax office for a refund.  Find  your State Revenue Office here
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  • Information on the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act can be found on OPM’s web site at www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fercca/index.asp.
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  • The law requires us to make payments by direct deposit to a checking or savings account at a financial institution. However, if receiving your payment in this manner would cause you financial hardship or a hardship due to disability or because of a barrier caused by location or a difficulty reading, you can continue to receive your payment by check. You can use this form [312 KB] to request payment by check instead of direct deposit.
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  • To report a technical problem with OPM’s Insure website, please send an email to insure-webmaster@opm.gov.   To report a technical problem with Retirement Services Online, please send an email to rethelp@opm.gov
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  • Electronic payments, which allow for the exchange of funds through paperless methods, are safer, easier and more reliable than paper checks. Direct deposit is the electronic transfer of a payment from a company or organization into an individual's checking or savings account. When a recipient gets their federal benefit payment electronically, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sends an electronic message to their bank or credit union account or to their Direct Express® card account crediting their account with the exact amount of their benefit. The difference is, a check isn’t printed or mailed. The government and businesses use direct deposit to transfer millions of dollars every day.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)
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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.
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  • When OPM receives your retirement application from your Agency, we mail you a Welcome Letter, along with a retirement card, which contains your CSA number.  It's a seven digit number and will be included on all correspondences from OPM.  If you are a survivor, OPM will issue you a CSF number after we process the notification of death.  It, too, is a seven digit number and will be included on all correspondences from OPM.  We will mail you a password which will give you access to your annuity online at Services OnLine.  You'll need your CSA (or CSF) and password in order to access the site.  Remember:  When logging onto Services OnLine, follow the tips for entering your claim number in the logon box. Retiree: If you are a retiree, the first letter you type in the claim number box is capital “A”, type your 7 digit claim number, then type in a zero. Example: A12345670 Survivor: The first letter you type into the claim number box is capital “F”, type your 7 digit claim number, then type in a “W”. Example: F1234567W
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  • See information here about cost-of-living adjustments. Then, check with your local personnel service center for an explanation about how the cost-of-living increases apply to those retiring under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). They can provide personalized assistance and they have your employment records.
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  • A child can continue to receive benefits after reaching age 18 if he or she is incapable of self-support because of a disability which began before age 18. If the disabled child is under age 18 when you apply for benefits, we do not need additional information. However, when the child is within three months of reaching age 18 or over age 18, you should send us the information described in disabling conditions for children. A child can also continue to receive benefits until age 22 if he or she is a full-time student. If the child is listed on the application for benefits as a full-time student who is age 18 or more, we will send a request for certification of school attendance to be completed by the person who expects to receive payments and the school. See more information about the eligibility of full-time students. Annuity payments continue between school years unless the break is more than five months or the student does not plan to return to school on a full-time basis. If the student plans to be out of school for more than five months, we cannot pay benefits. If he or she plans to return to school within five months, but does not do so, benefits stop at the end of the month before the change of plans.
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  • People who will be applying for benefits on or after May 1, 2011, should be ready to sign up for direct deposit when they apply for federal benefits and understand what information they should have on-hand to sign up. This will ensure they get their benefit payments in the safest, most reliable way possible.  
    • To get benefit payments by direct deposit into an existing financial institution account, people should be prepared with the following information for a smooth enrollment:
      • Account type: checking or savings
      • Account number
      • Financial institution’s routing number
     
    • To sign up for the Direct Express® card, people should notify their federal benefit agency at the time they apply for benefits. Once approved for federal benefits, they will receive their Direct Express® card and an information packet in the mail.
    People who currently receive federal benefits by paper check, should make the switch today to get their money a safer, more reliable way immediately.   If the benefit recipient has a bank or credit union account, he/she should sign up for direct deposit at www.GoDirect.org, by calling (800) 333-1795, or by visiting their local bank/credit union branch or federal benefit agency office.   Those who prefer a prepaid debit card can sign up for the Direct Express® card by calling toll-free (800) 333-1795, signing up online at www.GoDirect.org, or by contacting their local federal benefit agency office. No bank account or credit check is required to sign up for the card.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
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Total Count: 462, Number of Pages: 31, Page: 10
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