If you’re approaching your expected retirement date in the next few years, you might be wondering what steps you will need to take in the near future. This brief guide will provide an overview of that information for FERS employees.
Calculate your expected retirement income and budget. We can help with this part. Meet with us for help in calculating your retirement income, and together we can decide if you’re financially ready to retire. We can explore other options if the numbers aren’t exactly where you need them to be.
Address deposits or redeposits that you might owe. Were there periods during your career in which you received a refund of your retirement contributions? Begin investigating now, to find out what it would cost to make these payments before retirement (including principal and interest) to maximize your potential retirement income. FERS employees will need to complete SF 3108.
If married, consider your options. Do you want to provide your spouse with a survivor benefit, in the event that you pass away before them? If so, which one? You will need to select the appropriate benefit and submit the correct forms, along with your marriage certificate, to your benefit office.
Complete beneficiary forms. Complete beneficiary forms for lump sum payment of retirement benefits, or life insurance, before you retire.
Complete your application for retirement. FERS employees will complete form SF 3107 and submit it to your benefits office at least sixty days before your expected retirement date. OPM makes the final determination of retirement eligibility, and will notify you of your status.
Collect interim payments. You will receive interim payments, at about 60 to 80 percent of your expected annuity payment, until your final annuity payment is calculated. You will receive your first interim payment about four to six weeks after you retire, and your annuity payments will begin a few months later once everything is processed.
The above steps are just a general guide, and you might need to take additional action depending upon your exact situation. Again, please do meet with us before taking the leap into retirement. We can help you learn what to expect, so that we can hopefully avoid any unpleasant surprises. And, if you need help completing your paperwork, we will be happy to assist with that as well.