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Once you’ve decided to retire and submitted your application, remember that what comes next might be a lengthy and involved procedure. Be patient.
Once your personnel office receives your retirement application, it’ll verify that you’re eligible to retire on the date you specify and that you’ll be able to keep your Federal Employees’ Health Benefits (FEHB) and/or Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage in retirement.
Assuming no problems arise, your personnel office will create a Certified Summary of Federal Service detailing your federal civilian and military service, if any. When you get the copy from them, double-check for accuracy and make any necessary adjustments.
When the day you choose to retire approaches, your personnel office will:
• forward any existing beneficiary designations in your OPF;
• file an SF 50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to be separated from the service;
• complete and certify the personnel office component of your retirement application; and
• send your retirement application and supporting documentation to your agency’s payroll office.
The payroll department will:
• approve your final salary payment upon your retirement separation. It’ll also authorize any lump-sum payment for unused yearly leave that you owe. If you’ve been offered a “buyout,” it’ll also authorize that payment.
• certify and close out the official record of your current service, your Individual Retirement Record (IRR), unused sick leave credit for retirement considerations, pay rates and so on. The IRR cannot be closed out until your final paycheck has been delivered as it includes a list of your retirement deductions for the last work term.
Your agency payroll office will notify you when your file has been delivered to OPM. That notice will include the registration number, transmittal and mailing dates, and payroll office number. That information is helpful if you need to check on the progress of your case after it has been submitted to OPM. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to contact them again.
The length of this procedure is determined by various factors, including the workload in your agency’s personnel and payroll departments. It may take longer, perhaps much longer, if they are understaffed and/or buried behind a mountain of retirement applications.
The processing of OPM is also affected by workload. It can become overburdened during peak seasons, such as the end of the year and early in the new year. Fortunately, they will try to give you a portion of your annuity if possible. That interim compensation will remain until your application is approved. Then you’ll get your exact monthly annuity payment, plus any catch-up payments you missed while you were on interim pay.
M. Dutton and Associates is a full-service financial firm. We have been in business for over 30 years serving our community. Through comprehensive objective driven planning, we provide you with the research, analysis, and available options needed to guide you in implementing a sound plan for your retirement. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Visit us at MarvinDutton.com . Tel. 212-951-7376: email: [email protected].