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Questions and Answers regarding the Services Online implementation of multi-factor authentication using

Questions and answers

OPM is making these changes to deploy enhanced security protections to protect your Services Online account. is an extra layer of security created by the government that uses multi-factor authentication and stronger passwords to protect your account. Other government agencies, such as the Small Business Administration and the Social Security Administration, already use to provide secure access to their government services.

Nothing will happen to the information stored in your Services Online account. You'll still be able to accomplish everything you can do today. Once you set up a account, you will continue to visit to access your account. but you will be prompted use your email address, password, and your multifactor authentication token to sign in. The only change is that you will no longer use your old Services Online claim number and password to sign in.

You will need a valid email address. This is the email address that will be associated with your account. Services Online also has an email address that is associated with your retirement account. These may be the same email address or different depending on your preference. However, please note that OPM will use the email account associated with your Services Online account to send you emails about retirement related information.

Visit Create your account 

No. If you have a account, for example to access a different government system, you can log in using your existing account to begin Services Online registration. Note that the email address associated with your Services Online account will also be the email address that OPM will used to notify you about your Services Online account. 

Visit Manage your account 

Visit Step-by-Step Linking Guide for a detailed instruction guide. 

Visit Manage your account for support. 

Visit Retirement Services Support Center for Services Online and go to the Contact Us section on the page 

We suggest that you first try and reset your Services Online password by using the Forget Password link on the Services Online link page. If successful, you will receive an email to reset your password. Once reset, start the process and continue to the Services Online Link page to link the account. 

Multi-factor authentication (sometimes referred to as "two-factor authentication") adds an additional layer of security to your account by requiring another piece of information along with your username and password to log in.

Authentication factors come in different forms, and you will be able to choose the form of authentication that works best for you. Examples of options you may be familiar with include receiving a short code via a text message or a phone call. If you would prefer to use other forms of authentication, provides various options.

The benefit of adding an additional layer of security is that, if your username and password were compromised by someone attempting to steal your identity, they would not be able to access your Services Online account without the second factor used to authenticate who you are.

Visit Authentication options | for more information on this topic. uses two-factor authentication to confirm that only you are accessing your Services Online account. To do this, you will need to provide a way for to send you a one-time security code. This can be done over SMS (text message), a recorded phone message, or using an authorization application. Backup codes are also available but should only be used if you have no other options, as they can only be used a limited number of times.

Visit Why do I need a security code 

Visit Forgot your password for step-by-step instructions for resetting your password. 

Visit Trouble signing in? for assistance with your account. 

To change your authentication method, access your account and review the authentication methods offered.  Please note if you have lost access to your authentication method, then you must delete your account and start with a new registration.  For your security, there is a 24-hour waiting period before you can re-register. 

Visit Add or change your authentication method 

Visit Delete your account 

Yes. You can use an international phone number to receive SMS and/or phone calls when setting up your authentication method. Please refer to's International phone number support page to see if supports SMS and/or phone calls for your country.

If you receive a message that the email address you are entering when you are registering a new account is already registered, this simply means that you have previously created a account and have since forgotten that you have one. If you cannot remember your password, review the forgotten password item in this FAQ section.

Visit Forgot your password

This email indicates that your Services Online account may not be active. Please contact the Call Center and carefully listen to the prompts for assistance. 

If you need to manage multiple Services Online accounts, you will need to create multiple accounts, and each account will require the use of a unique email address. For assistance in creating multiple email accounts, please use an internet search engine for instructions. You can continue to use one email address for receiving correspondence from OPM. 

The first method to consider is adding a forwarding rule to a newly created email address that automatically forwards all emails to your primary email address. This new email address is known as a special purpose email address that only has one function, in this case to be associated with a account. Instructions on this process can be found by running a search on your internet search engine.

The second method is to use "plus addressing" with your primary email address when you create your accounts. This allows you to create multiple accounts while really just maintaining one email address by adding a plus ("+") sign and characters following the username part of your email address (i.e. the part of an email address before the at ("@") symbol; the other part of an email address is the domain), with a different "+" for each account.

To demonstrate, you are an annuitant signing up for and have the email address "" For retirement account 1 you would create a account using "," and for retirement account 2 you would create a account using "" After linking each of these accounts to the respective SOL retirement claims, future logins to SOL using the above credentials will still result in correspondence regarding each account to be directed to ""  When requesting a password reset, you will need to use your "plus" address for them to locate your account, but an email message they send to "" will still arrive in your primary email box, "" You will only be maintaining one email address, although you will need to remember or record which account you have associated with which claim number.

Please perform a search on an internet search engine for more information on "plus addressing," also known as "subaddressing." supports it, and your current email provider might also support it.

The only other method is to delink your account when you want to access the other retirement account. Instructions for delinking your account are below.

If you lose access to your account or want to link to a different account with your Services Online account, following these steps:

  1. Access your Services Online account;
  2. Select the Profile menu item;
  3. Select the tab;
  4. Select the Unlink the account; and<
  5. Continue to follow the prompts to complete the process.

Visit Step-by-Step Linking Guide for a detailed instruction guide.

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