Denis Rhoden
Asst't to Director of Retirees
Outlook November / December 2019

Applying for Benefits from FERS

Where do you get the form to apply for FERS Immediate Retirement?

Use form SF 3107. FERS Apllication for Immediate Retirement, to apply for immediate retirement. You can obtain the form from your employing agency by calling HRSSC at 877-477-3273.

Submit the completed application to your employing agency. Give your agency at least 60 days notice before the date you intend to retire. Your agency will then complete the Schedule D, Agency Checklist of Immediate Retirement Procedures, and the SF 3107-1, Certified Summary of Federal Service, which are included in the SF 3107, FERS Application for Immediate Retirement.

When calling HRSSC to request your retirement application, also request a Certified Summary of Federal Service. Your agency will complete the SF 3107-1, Certified Summary of Federal Service, and forward it to you for your review and signature. You should review it carefully before signing it. Any errors, omissions or discrepancies will delay the processing of your application, and may result in incomplete credit for your service in the initial computation of your annuity.

If you are applying for disability retirement, ask your employing agency for a copy of the forms package SF 3112, Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement Application.

Your agency will forward the application to OPM.

To apply for a Deferred Annuity, use form RI 92-19. Forms will be provided by, and submitted directly to, OPM. Call OPM or visit https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/types-of-retirement/#url=Deferred-Retirement.

What happens after you file your Retirement Application?

Your employing office will close out your records, using the Agency Checklist to assure that all necessary steps are taken. When this process (which includes paying you an unpaid compensation, such as for unpaid annual leave) has been completed, the agency will forward your application and records to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). You should receive a notice from your former employing agency when your application and records have been forwarded to OPM. In most cases, the agency should forward the retirement package to OPM so it is received within 30 days after your separation. Until OPM has received the application and supporting documents, OPM does not know that you have retired.

Note: Applications for disability retirement are processed differently. Your agency normally will forward your application, evidence supporting your claim of disability and preliminary records to OPM for a disability determination based on a review of both medical and non-medical evidence.

After it receives your application, OPM will assign your claim number, which will begin with the letters “CSA.” This number will be very important to you as a retiree because you will need to refer to it any time you contact OPM in connection with your annuity.

When OPM finishes processing your application, they will send you a booklet explaining your benefits.

Payments Beginning Date of Annuity
The beginning date of most annuities is the first day of the month after separation. If one retires on the last day of the month, the annuity begins to accrue the following day.
Disability annuities, however, begin the day after pay stops and all other requirements for title to annuity are met. Annuities based on involuntary separations begin on the day after separation.

Payments and Accrual of Annuity
All annuities are payable in monthly installments on the first business day of the month following the one for which the annuity has accrued. For example, payments for the month of June will paid in your check dated July1.

What recourse does an applicant for FERS benefits have if his or her application is denied by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management? The applicant may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Outlook September / October 2019

CSRS

May an annuitant be employed outside the Federal Government?
Yes.
May an annuitant be reemployed in the Federal Government?
Yes.
May an annuitant who is reemployed in the Federal Government continue to draw annuity?
Generally yes, but the individual’s salary is reduced by the amount of annuity paid during the period of reemployment. Reemployed annuitants in certain difficult to fill positions such as temporary census workers are exempt from the salary offset.

What kind of death benefits are there?
A survivor annuity benefit which is payable in monthly installments; or
• A lump sum benefit payable if there is no survivor annuity payable. The lump sum would consist of the amount paid into the Retirement Fund by the employee plus applicable interest if any.

FERS

In what circumstances do employees covered by FERS also have credit for service under the Civil Service Retirement System?
• He or she transferred to FERS with 5 or more years of CSRS service credit; those who transferred into FERS with fewer than 5 years of credit under CSRS had such credit converted into FERS service at the time of transfer.
• He or she separated from government service with service credit under CSRS, was rehired and exercised the option to transfer into FERS within months of being rehired; this option was given to rehired employees who separated for less than a year or if separated for more than a year or, if separated for more than one year, had at least five years or CSRS credit.

How does CSRS credit affect a FERS employee’s eligibility to retire?
All service (CSRS and FERS) counts toward the number of years needed to be eligible for retirement, disability, and survivor benefits under FERS.
If a FERS employee with credit for civilian service under CSRS retires, how is his or her annuity benefit calculated?
Regardless of the type of retirement (early, immediate or deferred), a portion of his or her annuity would be computed using the CSRS benefit formula and a portion would be computed using the FERS formula. Benefits for service under CSRS would be calculated using the CSRS formula while benefits for service under FERS would be calculated using the FERS formula. Both formulas would use the same “high-3” average basic salary.
The sum of the CSRS and FERS benefits would be reduced by 5 or 10 percent to provide a survivor annuity of 25 or 50 percent of the retiree’s benefit.

If an employee eligible to receive a combined CSRS and FERS annuity elects early retirement, is the 5 percent reduction in annuity benefits for each year the employee is under age 62 applied only to the FERS portion of his or her annuity?
No. Employees with a combined CSRS/FERS annuity who elect early retirement will have the age reduction applied to the sum of the CSRS and FERS benefits, not just to the FERS portion of their annuities.

Outlook July / August 2019

CSRS Retirement Guide

Determining the Cost
The reduction in your annuity may be from 10 to 40 percent depending on the age difference between you and the person named. In order to determine what the reduction is, consult the following table:
Age of person Named in Relation to that of Retiring Employee Reduction in Annuity
Older, same age, or less than 5 years younger 10%
5 but less than 10 years younger 15%
10 but less than 15 years younger 20%
15 but less than 20 years younger 25%
20 but less than 25 years younger 30%
25 but less than 30 years younger 35%
30 or more years younger 40%
Election of Current Spouse
If you are married and a survivor annuity has been awarded by court order (effective after May 6, 1985) to a former spouse, you may elect an insurable interest survivor annuity for your current spouse. The combined reduction for both elections may exceed the maximum 40 percent reduction in the annuity normally applicable to insurable interest annuities.
Surviving Children
At the time of an employee’s or retiree’s death, monthly annuity and continuation of health benefits are automatically established for surviving children who are (1) unmarried and under age 18, or (2) unmarried and under age 22 if a full-time student, or (3) unmarried and incapable of self-support (regardless of age, provided the disability was established before age 18). There are no reductions to your annuity for these benefits.

Note: For more information, see OPM pamphlet RI 83-5, Survivor Benefits Under the Civil Service Retirement System, available from your personnel office or on the Internet at www.opm.gov/retire/html/library/csrs.asp.

Final Pay and Terminal Leave Payment
The Eagan ASC sends your final pay and terminal leave payment to your employing office. Therefore, make sure your employing office knows where to forward your last payroll check
Outlook May / June 2019

Deferred Annuity /Deferred Retirement

C.S.R.S. - Deferred Annuity
Who is eligible for deferred retirement?
Any separated employee who is age 62 and has completed at least 5 years of civilian service providing the employee left retirement contributions in the Civil Service Retirement Fund.

How do I apply for my deferred CSRS annuity?
60 days prior to your 62nd birthday--write or call the office of Personnel Management Retirement Operations Center, Boyers, PA 16017 (888) 767-6738. OPM will send the application for deferred annuity.

Is an employee eligible for deferred annuity regardless of the reason for separation?
Yes. Providing he/she leaves the retirement contributions in the Civil Service Retirement Fund and not convicted of certain National Security offenses.

If I die before attaining age 62, or after age 62 but before applying for annuity, will my survivor(s) receive survivor benefits?
The only benefit payable will be your lump-sum credit in the retirement fund; monthly survivor annuity will not be payable.

F.E.R.S. – Deferred Retirement
Can employees who receive refunds of their contributions to FERS still collect deferred retirement benefits based on the Postal Service’s contributions toward their FERS retirement benefits?
No. Deferred benefits can only be collected if employees keep their career FERS contributions in the Civil Service Retirement Fund.

Are annuity benefits reduced in any way if an employee elects deferred retirement?
No, provided the employee does not submit an application for early retirement before becoming eligible to receive deferred benefits.

Who can collect a deceased employee’s survivor benefits?
FERS survivor benefits may be payable to a surviving spouse or former spouse.
In addition, natural and adopted children, as well as stepchildren who lived with the employee in a “regular parent-child relationship” prior to the death of the employee, may be eligible to receive FERS survivor benefits.

What eligibility requirements must a surviving spouse meet to qualify for FERS survivor benefits?
Widow/widowers must have been married to the deceased employee for at least 9 months immediately prior to the employee’s death or, if married less than nine months, must be the parent of a child of the deceased employee. However, if the death resulted from an accident, these requirements are waived.

Outlook March / April 2019
The FERS Annuity Supplement Benefit
What is the FERS Annuity Supplement?
FERS Annuity benefits are designed to supplement Social Security retirement benefits. However, FERS annuitants are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits until they reach age 62. In order to compensate annuitants who are less than 62 years old for their inability to collect Social Security benefits, the FERS Basic Benefit Plan provides a temporary annuity supplement to FERS employees who retire with unreduced annuity benefits. Deferred, disability and early MRA + 10 retirees are not eligible for the supplement.

The FERS annuity supplement is designed to approximate the monthly retirement benefit employees will receive from Social Security at age 62 for their years of service under FERS. The annuity supplement, which is subject to the Social Security earnings test, is payable until age 62, at which time Social Security retirement benefits may begin.

Who is eligible for the FERS annuity supplement?
Employees who retire voluntarily under FERS on an immediate (not deferred) annuity which is not reduced for age (as is an MRA +10 retirement). FERS employees may also be eligible for supplemental annuity once they reach their minimum retirement age (MRA) if they retired involuntarily or voluntarily because of a major reorganization or reduction in force.

Those retiring on disability, deferred retirement or an immediate MRA + 10 benefit are not eligible for the supplement

How is the amount of the FERS annuity supplement calculated?
The supplement is computed as if the retiring employee were age 62 and fully insured for a Social Security benefit when the supplement begins. By law, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) first estimates what the employee’s full career (40 years) Social Security benefit would be. Then OPM calculates the amount of his or her civilian service under FERS (which does not include military time, even if deposit was made) and reduces the estimated full career Social Security benefit accordingly. For example, if the employee’s estimated full career Social Security benefit would be $1,000 and he or she worked 30 years under FERS, OPM would divide 30 by 40 (.75) and multiply ($1,000 x .75 = $750). The result would be the retiring employee’s special retirement supplement, prior to any reductions.



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