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Retirement FAQs Post-Retirement

  • People who do not choose an electronic payment option at the time they apply for federal benefits or by March 1, 2013, will receive their payments via the Direct Express® card so they will not experience any interruption in payment.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
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  • Yes. The Direct Express® card is a safe, no- or low-cost electronic alternative. No bank or credit union account or credit check is required to enroll. Cardholders can make purchases, pay bills and get cash. This also is an option for those who prefer a prepaid debit card recommended by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Many card services are free, including:  
    • Purchases at retail locations
    • Cash back at retailers at the point of sale
    • Optional notification by phone, email or text message of deposits
    • Optional low-balance alert when account balance falls below a certain level
    • Balance inquiries at ATMs, by phone or online
    • Access to the toll-free customer service number or website 24 hours a day, seven days a week
    • One (1) ATM cash withdrawal in the United States for each deposit posted to the account. ATM owner surcharges may apply at ATMs outside the Direct Express® card surcharge free network.
      (Visit www.GoDirect.org for information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)
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  • The Direct Express® card provides the advantages of direct deposit without requiring a bank account or credit check and is an option for those who prefer a prepaid debit card recommended by the Treasury Department:  
    • Fast and Easy –Federal benefit payments go straight into the Direct Express® card account on payment day each month. There’s no need to wait for the mail to arrive or to make a special trip to cash a check.
    • Safe – There’s no risk of lost or stolen checks, no need to carry large amounts of cash, and card account balances are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to the maximum allowed by law.
    • Convenient – Use the card to make everyday purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard® is accepted. Make purchases, pay bills, buy money orders and get cash at thousands of locations nationwide. Use the card 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
      (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
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  • Generally, an unmarried dependent child who is over age 18 can receive a survivor benefit if incapable of self-support due to an injury or medical condition which occurs before turning age 18.  After turning age 18, an unmarried dependent child can receive a survivor benefit if enrolled in a recognized school on a full-time basis until age 22.
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  • You do not have to do anything. Benefits to eligible children are automatically provided by law. To be eligible, a child must be unmarried, under age 18, and dependent on you. To continue to be eligible for benefits after age 18, a child must be unmarried and a full-time student or incapable of self-support due to a disability which onset before age 18.
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  • Unmarried children who are dependent upon the employee may receive recurring monthly benefits. Refer to information about the demonstration of dependency for benefit payment purposes. See how the amount of children's benefits is determined.
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  • Under these circumstances, there are no recurring monthly benefits payable under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). If there is an unpaid balance of retirement contributions by the former employee, the person(s) eligible for payment under the order of precedence should complete the "Application for Death Benefits," Standard Form (SF) 2800 [806 KB] and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and send the application to us at this address. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)- If the former employee was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the current spouse may be eligible for a monthly benefit if…
    • The current spouse was married to the deceased at the time of his/her separation from Federal civilian service, and
    • The current spouse was married to the deceased for a total period of at least nine months (the nine month requirement does not apply if the death was accidental or if the current spouse is the parent of a child born of the marriage.)
    If there is an unpaid balance of retirement contributions by the former employee and no one is eligible for a monthly survivor benefit, the person(s) eligible for payment under the order of precedence should complete the "Application for Death Benefits," Standard Form (SF) 3104 [741 KB] and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and send the application to us at this address.
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  • Tax tables are set into law by the United States Congress and administered by the IRS.  Each year, the new tables are posted on the IRS website in IRS Publication 15 and Notice 1036.  We are required by law to update your Federal income tax withholding based on the new monthly periodic tax tables and formulas.   OPM withholds the required federal taxes according to your marital status and exemptions (dependents) elected.  You can change your tax withholding amount at any time.  It is a good idea to check the amount of your Federal and State tax withholding each year. Select this link to view the IRS Publication 15.  If you are looking at the specific tax tables you want to search for the Single or Married Monthly Payroll Period tables.
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  • If the recipient is already receiving his/her federal benefit payments electronically, this change will not affect them.   (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
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  • A child’s entitlement to receive a benefit ends on the last day of the month before any of the following events:  
    • Becomes age 18 unless he/she is a full-time student at a recognized school or is incapable of self support;
    • Becomes capable of self-support after becoming age 18 unless he/she is a full-time student at a recognized school;
    • Becomes age 22 if he/she is a student and capable of self-support;
    • Stops attending school on a full-time basis after age 18 unless deemed incapable of self-support; or
    • Dies or marries
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  • The employing office has 14 days to notify you of your TCC rights and send you an election form.  You must return the election form and a certified copy of your divorce decree within 60 days from your divorce date or 65 days after the date of the employing office notice, whichever is later.  Your coverage will be effective the day after your 31-day extension of coverage as a family member ends.
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  • The survivor annuity payable to the spouse of a deceased retiree who was covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset program is computed in the same manner as the annuity for the spouse of a deceased annuitant with full CSRS coverage. However, if you are the surviving spouse of a deceased retiree who was covered by CSRS-Offset, your annuity will be reduced if you are eligible upon proper application for social security benefits based on the deceased annuitant's Federal service. If social security survivor benefits are payable:
    • You will receive full Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) benefits until you become entitled to social security benefits, generally at age 60. However, benefits may begin earlier if you are disabled or care for a minor child.
    • When you become entitled to social security survivor benefits, your Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) survivor annuity will be reduced by the amount of the social security benefit that is attributable to the deceased's employment under CSRS-Offset coverage. The reduction begins on the first day of the month in which you are entitled to the CSRS-Offset annuity and eligible, upon application, for social security survivor benefits.
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  • Only you and the unmarried dependent children born to or adopted by you and your former spouse (the Federal employee or annuitant) are covered.
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  • There is no cost to provide a survivor benefit for an unmarried dependent child.  
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  • The time limit for notification is 60 days from your divorce or annulment.  Either you or your former spouse must notify the employing office in writing that you want TCC.  If your former spouse is retired, notify the retirement system.
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Total Count: 200, Number of Pages: 14, Page: 8
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