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Retirement FAQs

  • If you want to waive your military retired pay to receive credit for military service in the computation of your benefit, you should write the Retired Pay Operations Center at least 60 days before your planned retirement.  Send your waiver to: Defense Finance and Accounting Service U.S. Military Retirement Pay P.O. Box 7130 London, KY 40742-7130 You can "fax" your request to 1 (888) 469-6559. Suggested wording for your request is as follows: "I (full name and military serial number) hereby waive my military retired pay for Civil Service Retirement/Federal Employees Retirement System purposes effective (the day before your annuity begins). I hereby authorize the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to withhold from my CSRS or FERS annuity any amount of military retired pay granted beyond the effective date of this waiver due to any delay in receiving or processing this request."
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  • Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset program, a survivor annuity for your spouse is computed in the same manner as a survivor annuity would be computed based on full CSRS coverage. However, under CSRS-Offset, your spouse's annuity may be reduced if he or she is eligible for social security benefits based on your federal service. If he or she is not eligible for social security benefits, the civil service annuity is not reduced. See additional information about death benefits.
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  • If you need to contact us before you receive your claim number, first contact your former payroll office to find the date your records were transferred to OPM. Your payroll office should provide you with the number and date of the Register of Separations and Transfers. You will also need your Payroll Identification Number.
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  • You can reduce your premiums by reducing your coverage. However, if you reduce coverage, you cannot increase it again at a later date. See our answer to a frequently asked question about coverage after age 65 and our web pages at http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp to obtain more information about the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program. To change your coverage, write us.
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  •   If your 1099R Statement Box 2.a for the Taxable Amount is marked as 'Unknown'; this means that OPM did not calculate the tax-free portion of your annuity.  The most common reasons for not calculating the tax-free portion of your annuity:   Your case is a Disability Retirement You retired prior to November 19, 1996 You have Voluntary Contributions, an apportionment was paid to your former spouse(s) Your case has not been finalized and you are in Interim pay status You have Survivor benefits payable and/or Your case is an Office of Workers Compensation case.
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  • You may receive a survivor annuity and a separate benefit that is based on your own service. Generally, if you are the surviving spouse of more than one retiree, you must elect one of the benefits. We cannot pay you two survivor annuities. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible for a widow or widower to receive more than one survivor annuity simultaneously. If, after age 55, you marry a Federal employee and you are again widowed, you may be eligible to receive annuities based on the service of both of your spouses.
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  • Yes. If you are under age 60, your benefit will stop if:
    1. you are found to be medically recovered from your disabling condition;
    2. in any calendar year your income from wages and self-employment is at least 80 percent of the current rate of basic pay from the position you retired from (This is also known as a restoration to earning capacity.); or
    3. you are reemployed in the Federal service in a position equivalent to what you held at retirement. (This is called administratively recovered.)
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  • Send your request by e-mail to screceipts@opm.gov and a response will be returned by e-mail.  Be sure to include your name, date of birth and CSD Claim Number.
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  • A court order following annulment of marriage, legal separation, or divorce can divide or apportion your annuity. The order must expressly direct OPM to pay a portion of your monthly benefit. The spouse's share must be stated as a fixed amount, a percentage or fraction of your annuity, or by a formula with a readily apparent value. The amount cannot exceed the money payable to you after deductions for taxes and insurance. A court order may provide for payment of all or part of a refund of your retirement contributions. It may also block the refund payment, but only if the order directs us not to pay the refund and grants a survivor annuity or a portion of your annuity to a legally separated current spouse or former spouse.
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  • Participation is entirely voluntary, and requires the mutual consent of both the employee and employing agency.  In order to participate, an individual must have been employed on a full-time basis for the preceding three years.  Under CSRS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at age 55, or with 20 years of service at age 60.  Under FERS, the individual must be eligible for immediate retirement with at least 30 years of service at MRA (minimum retirement age 55-57 depending upon year of birth), or with 20 years of service at age 60.
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  • Under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you will be given the opportunity to pay for temporary service prior to January 1, 1989. Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), if you had service on/after October 1, 1982, for which no contributions were made, we will give you the opportunity to pay the contributions, and will tell you what difference it makes to your monthly benefit. If you had unpaid service prior to October 1, 1982, we do not notify you before we finish processing your application because it generally is not to your advantage to make the payment.
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  • Your family enrollment covers yourself, your current spouse, and your eligible children under age 26.
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  • You are taxed on your gross annuity according to your most current W4-P tax marital status election on file. You can change your election at anytime. Go to www.servicesonline.opm.gov or email us at retire@opm.gov. Your 1099R will reflect a reduction in your gross annuity after your retirement application is finalized based on the amount of apportionment that you pay your former spouse. There will be a footnote on the 1099R stating the amount of the apportionment paid to your former spouse for the year. Because your annuity is subject to a court ordered apportionment, OPM does not calculate the taxable portion of your annuity. The 1099R will show ‘Unknown’ in the 2.b ‘Taxable Amount’ box.  You may wish to speak with a representative at the Internal Revenue Service or a tax advisor to help you calculate the tax-free portion of the calculation. Current tax tables for this year are available in Internal Revenue Publication 15. You may view this publication on line by accessing the IRS web site at www.irs.gov. You may also call the IRS toll free for tax advice at: 1-800-829-1040 (agent).  Your former spouse must report the amount of apportionment he/she receives as taxable income and is required to pay taxes on these funds. Apportionment monies cannot be used as alimony deductions on a tax return. Please note it is your responsibility to make sure enough federal income tax is withheld from your annuity and to check the amount of tax withheld early in the year to be sure you are paying the correct amount.
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  • The IRS is responsible for the changes to the Federal income tax withholding tables. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has no control over the Federal income tax withholding tables. OPM used the tables provided by the IRS, which are set in law by the United States Congress.
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  • Unmarried children who are dependent upon the retiree may receive recurring monthly benefits. We consider a child dependent if he or she:
    • was born within marriage to the retiree:
    • is an adopted child who meets all of the following conditions:
      • the child lived with the deceased retiree, and
      • the deceased filed a petition to adopt the child, and
      • the child was adopted before the retiree’s death or by the surviving spouse after the retiree died;
    • is a stepchild or recognized child born out out-of-wedlock who was living with the retiree in a parent and child relationship when the retiree died; or
    • is a recognized child born out-of-wedlock for whom a judicial determination of support has been obtained.
    We consider the child dependent if there is proof that the deceased made regular and substantial contributions to the child's support. Refer to information about a child's continuing eligibility after age 18. See how the amount of children's benefits is determined.
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Total Count: 463, Number of Pages: 31, Page: 8
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