What Really Happens When You Submit Your Retirement PaperworkJohn Sanders
Many people wonder what really happens when you submit your retirement paperwork. Let’s take a look and briefly explain the procedures.
When your retirement paperwork is submitted to the Office of Personnel Management they will notify you when it is received and provide you a claim identification number. This number is seven digits in length and is preceded by the letters “CSA”. You must use this claim number when you contact OPM about your retirement annuity.
Specifically when OPM begins to process your claim they will do the following:
- Review your paperwork for any missing information needed to further process retirement documents.
- OPM will determine eligibility for an annuity and your continued health and life insurance coverages.
- OPM will compute the actual amount of your annuity.
OPM will further send you materials concerning your survivor benefit election, this paperwork authorizes any annuity payment and sends you an annuity statement.
Your retirement annuity payments are due the first business day of the next month with the check covering the preceding month.
The average processing time to properly complete a retirement application is approximately 55 days. This number is as of July 2019. Remember, 55 days is the average number if there is no corrections or additional information is needed. If any corrections or additional information is needed it may take an additional 3 to 4 weeks to process your retirement claim. The time could become extremely long if there are problems in contacting you.
You should remember to allow extra time if there is a court order awarding retirement or a survivor benefit to a former spouse.
According to OPM here are some common mistakes which can be avoided:
- The forms, when submitted, has errors. Your retirement forms should not have any scratch-outs, white-outs, or line-outs. Forms submitted should not have any alterations on them.
- There is a failure to complete a Spouse’s Consent to Survivor Election portion on the retirement application if choosing less than the full survivor benefits. A Reminder, the consent form must be notarized.
- Spouse information is missing. Information must be provided for any married applicants and that includes those that are separated and not.
- The employee name, Social Security number, and date of birth do not match OPM records on file.
- Documentation has not been included to show the reason for a suspension of the federal employee health benefits program coverage.
The OPM retirement packet does not have anything to do with the filing of Social Security benefits or Thrift Savings Plan investments. Those programs must be handled independent of the retirement paperwork.
If you have any questions contact The Benefit Coordinators.
DID YOU KNOW that Federal Employee Disability Insurance is available through our website?