This page can be found on the web at the following url: http://www.opm.gov/retire/faq/post/faq1.asp
When will I get my first payment?
In most cases, as soon as we get all your retirement records, we provide "interim" payments. These payments represent a portion of your final benefit and are usually made on the first business day of each month. We try to provide you with income until we finish processing your application.
What is withheld from my interim pay?
We only withhold Federal income tax. You may find that the Federal income taxes withheld from your first interim payment will be higher than the Federal tax withholdings from your subsequent interim payments and regular annuity. We will make any necessary tax withholding adjustment when we finish processing your application. Your health and life insurance coverage will continue while you are receiving interim pay. We will begin withholding health and life insurance premiums retroactive to the commencing date of your annuity, when we finish processing your application.
What information will I get about my benefits when the Office of Personnel Management finishes processing my application?
We will send you a personalized statement titled "Your Federal Retirement
Benefits". It details, among other things, how much your monthly payment
will be. It also confirms such things as health and life insurance coverage,
and provides information you will need to prepare your tax returns.
Will I be able to pay to get credit for Federal civilian service if I made no contributions?
Under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you will be given the opportunity to pay for temporary service prior to January 1, 1989. Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), if you had service on/after October 1, 1982, for which no contributions were made, we will give you the opportunity to pay the contributions, and will tell you what difference it makes to your monthly benefit. If you had unpaid service prior to October 1, 1982, we do not notify you before we finish processing your application because it generally is not to your advantage to make the payment.
Can I change my health insurance coverage?
Yes. After you retire, you will still have the opportunity to change your enrollment
from one plan to another during an annual open season. You cannot change to
another plan simply because you retired.
Can I change my life insurance coverage?
You can cancel or decrease your coverage at any time. You cannot increase your coverage.
I retired in the last year. Will I get a cost of living increase?
Yes, but you will receive only a portion of the first increase payable. We will prorate the first increase based on how long you were retired before it is given. At that time, we will send you a notice explaining the increase. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) cost of living increases are not provided until age 62, except for disability and survivor benefits. Read about this year's cost-of-living adjustment for those who receive benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System.
How much of my retirement benefit is taxable?
Use our calculator to figure the tax-free portion of your annuity payment.
Use our calculator to figure the amount of your monthly
tax withholding. Then, use Services
Online to change the federal tax withheld from your annuity payment.