Road Map To Retirement: Putting the Pieces Together

Oct 31, 2022 | Retirement, Retirement Planning

As you start to near the finish line of the Federal Retirement process, you will likely have many questions. How long does everything take to process? When will you see your first payment? Is there anything in particular that you need to be on the lookout for? It can be stressful to keep track of everything, but hopefully, this article can help guide you through the process and give you answers to some of those questions, starting with the timing of your application.

When should you submit my retirement application?

It is recommended that you submit your retirement application to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at least 60 days prior to the date of your retirement. The ongoing OPM backlog in processing claims is something to be aware of. In 2022, the average time to process an application is 88 days. So keep in mind the earlier you submit the application to more likely you won’t experience too much of a delay assuming that everything on your application was filled out correctly.

What is an NFC Notification of Separation letter?

A letter notifying you of your Separation from Federal Service will be sent to you within 45 days of your retirement. This letter acts as a tracking number for your retirement that was submitted to OPM. You will have a Civil Service Annuitant (CSA) Number that OPM uses to identify retirement accounts and accrued benefits. You will use this claim number when signing into your account on OPM Retirement Services Online. You should plan on keeping this notification letter so that you do not lose this number. Upon receipt of this letter, you can then contact TSP for withdrawal options which can be made 30 days after your retirement date. 

What is Interim Annuity?

After OPM receives your Individual Retirement Record and application, you are placed on Interim pay status. Interim payment equals approximately 60-80% of your full annuity and does not include the FERS Supplement. Receiving your first interim payment may take 60 days or longer after the effective date of your retirement.

What happens with FEHB?

Your FEHB will be transferred to OPM after retirement. During the interim pay period, no deductions will be taken for health insurance. Life Insurance can also be elected to transfer to OPM, and premiums will retroactively be deducted once your retirement is finalized.

When do you get your final annuity payment?

Once OPM has verified all records and service, you will receive a full annuity payment and retroactive annuity amounts that were not paid during the interim pay cycle, minus FEHB, FEGLI, and other appropriate deductions.

How do you manage your information?

As mentioned earlier, after you receive your CSA number, you can use it to log into OPM Retirement Services Online. This site allows you to manage all of your information online and is securely protected by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. This includes items like your mailing address, email, direct deposit for annuity payments, and more.

Ready for the next step?

Looking for help to get the process started? It all starts with gathering your information, discussing your goals, and preparing a plan so that we can help you maximize your income in retirement. With the right strategy, you can potentially get your income to be equal to or exceed your pre-retirement net income. To get started, schedule an appointment today with Benchmark Financial Group by filling out the form online or calling David Raetz at 913-534-8256 to discuss your financial needs. Benchmark Financial Group is happy to help you navigate your options and determine the best path to move toward your financial goals.

*Securities and Advisory Services Offered Through CreativeOne Securities, LLC  Member FINRA/SIPC and an Investment Advisor.  Benchmark Financial Group, LLC and CreativeOne Securities, LLC are not affiliated.

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Overland Park, KS 66210

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