This page can be found on the web at the following url: http://www.opm.gov/retire/faq/post/faq5.asp
Here are frequently asked questions and answers about changing your mailing address or direct deposit registration used for your civil service annuity or the Federal and State income tax, allotments, or savings bonds withholdings from your annuity payment. Select a question to read the answer.
Where can I view a statement for my annuity payments online?
Can I continue to receive my payments by check?
How do I sign up for direct deposit?
If I have direct deposit, where will the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) send my mail?
I have moved. What changes do I need to make to my benefit?
What kind of withholdings can voluntarily be taken from my benefit?
How do I change my voluntary withholdings?
What are the other possible withholdings from or adjustments to my payment?
How can I have Medicare premiums withheld from my payments?
When and how can I change my health benefits enrollment?
How can I change my life insurance premiums?
Use Services Online to view your monthly annuity statement. This statement shows your current annuity payment, including the gross amount, up to 35 possible deductions or additions, and the net amount.
The online statement reflects changes you made through the previous business day, unless the changes were made after the date for updating the monthly payment. Any changes you made after that date will be reflected in the statement for the next month's payment, when the change would be effective. Please refer to our payment schedule for information on the dates by which changes must be made in each month's payment.
Your statement will also show required payment adjustments we make such as cost-of-living adjustments, health benefit premium
changes, Federal income tax withholding table changes, and life insurance premium changes.
The law requires us to make payments by direct deposit to a checking or savings account at a financial institution. However, if receiving your payment in this manner would cause you financial hardship or a hardship due to disability or because of a barrier caused by location or a difficulty reading, you can continue to receive your payment by check. You can use this form [312 KB] to request payment by check instead of direct deposit.
Use Services Online to sign up for direct deposit, or to change the account or bank where your payment is sent. You will need your claim number and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use the self-service website. You will be asked whether your account is a savings or checking account and to provide your account number and the routing number for your financial institution (found next to your account number on the bottom of your check). You should contact your financial institution for assistance in getting the routing number if you are not sure. When you make a change, we will mail you confirmation of the change.
You can also call us or write us to sign up for direct deposit or change your account or bank. If you write, your letter should include your claim number. You can also use this form to sign up for direct deposit. Or, you can submit a Standard Form 1199A, "Direct Deposit Sign Up Form," which is available at your bank.
When you change the account you use for direct deposit, keep the old account open until a payment is posted to the new account. This will prevent having the payment returned if there is a problem with the new account.
We keep a separate mailing address to periodically send you information about your retirement and health and life insurance benefits. You can see the current record of your mailing address on Services Online. Please notify us if this address changes.
(If you do not receive your payments through direct deposit, we ordinarily use the same address for mailings and payments.)
Use Services Online to report the change in your mailing address when you move. If you changed banks because you moved, you should also use Services Online to give us your new account number and the routing number (found next to your account number on the bottom of your check) for your financial institution.
You can also call us or write us to change your mailing address. If you write, your letter should include your claim number.
If you are enrolled in the health benefits program in a plan that serves a limited geographic area, you will need to change plans if you move out of the service area. See our web page at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp to view the list of plans from which you can choose and find out how to get brochures for those plans.
You can voluntarily withhold Federal and State income taxes, U.S. Savings Bonds, checking and savings allotments, or allotments to other participating organizations.
Federal Income Tax: Generally, unless you specify a monthly withholding rate or amount, we withhold Federal income tax as if you are married and claiming three allowances. Use Services Online to start, change, or stop the Federal tax withheld from your annuity payment or specify the dollar amount withheld.
You can also call us or write us to change your withholding amount. If you write, your letter should include your claim number and the monthly amount in dollars you want withheld. If you write, we will send you a Form W-4P-A, "Election of Federal Income Tax Withholding," and instructions for making the change. The change in your withholdings will be made after we receive your Form W-4P-A.
You may change the amount withheld whenever you think it is necessary.
Please note that you may be penalized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you do not have at least 90 percent of your yearly tax liability either withheld from your salary or annuity or made via quarterly payments to the IRS.
If you need more information or assistance in determining whether or not you are having the right amount of Federal income tax withheld, see the Internal Revenue Service website at http://www.irs.gov.
State Income Tax: You must specify the dollar amount of State tax you want withheld from your monthly payments. The withholding must be in whole dollars. The minimum amount we can withhold for State income tax is $5. Use Services Online to start, change, or stop the State tax withheld from your annuity payment.
You can also call us or write us to change your withholding amount. If you write, your letter should include your claim number and the monthly amount in dollars you want withheld.
If you do not know the monthly amount you want withheld, contact your State tax office for information or assistance.
Check our list of State tax offices for information about participating States.
If your State does not participate, please contact the State tax office for information or assistance.
Savings Bonds: You can start, change, or stop Series EE or Series I Savings Bonds. You should know the bond series and the denomination you wish to purchase before you begin. You can buy up to nine bonds each month. No installment purchases are available. You must purchase a bond in full each month.
Series EE: Series EE bonds are sold at one-half of their value. For example, you pay $50 for a $100 bond. This is the amount that will be withheld from your benefit payment each month until you make a change. So, for each withholding, you will purchase a bond.
Bonds earn interest for 30 years, but are not indexed to inflation. Interest is based on the average yield on five year Treasury securities. Earned interest is added to the value each month and is exempt from State and local taxes. Federal tax can be deferred until you redeem the bonds or they stop earning interest.
You can start, change, or stop Series EE bonds in denominations of $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000.
Series I: Series I bonds are sold at their face value. For example, you pay $100 for a $100 bond. This is the amount that will be withheld from your benefit payment each month until you make a change. So, for each withholding, you will purchase a bond. They grow in value with inflation-indexed earnings for up to 30 years.
These bonds increase in value each month and interest is compounded semi-annually. Earnings are exempt from State and local taxes. Federal taxes can be deferred until you redeem the bonds or they stop earning interest.
You can start, change, or, stop Series I bonds in denominations of $50, $75, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000.
To buy a bond online, you need the following information:
We suggest you carefully check the names and social security numbers you enter for each transaction.
You will have to pick the mailing address format to send the bond to either a U.S. or Foreign address.
There is a limit to one co-owner or beneficiary. If you wish to designate more than one, you would need to purchase the bond through a financial institution.
Your bond will be mailed to the person you name. It will be mailed after you see the cost reflected in your payment.
If you are receiving payments on behalf of a minor or for someone who is unable to handle his or her affairs, you cannot use this website to purchase bonds. You must instead contact your financial institution.
Use Services Online to buy, change, or stop bonds. Premiums for bonds will be withheld from your annuity payment. You can also call us.
You should contact the U.S. Department of the Treasury at 1 (800) 4US-BOND or visit their website at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds.htm for information about bonds, bond interest rates, and redemption.
Allotments to Organizations: You can start, change, or stop an allotment to participating organizations. Participating organizations include:
If the organization for which you wish to make an allotment is not listed above, you should contact them and ask them to provide us with the banking information needed to forward payments. The organization can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use Services Online or call our toll-free number to make one-time or recurring membership payments to organizations.
Checking and Savings Allotments: Checking and savings allotments are voluntary deductions for allotments sent by direct deposit to a checking or savings account in your name. You may have up to two allotments. The accounts must be maintained at a domestic financial institution. This does not include charities, savings bonds, garnishments or other court orders, union or other organizational dues. You must maintain at least $100 net annuity payment. The allotment must be for a minimum of $50.
Use Services Online to start, change, or stop an allotment or call our toll-free number to establish a checking or savings allotment.
Use Services Online to:
You can also call our toll-free number 1 (888) 767-6738 , for these and many of your voluntary withholdings. When using our self-service systems, you need your claim number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and social security number. If you do not have a PIN, call us.
You need a touchtone telephone to call the automated telephone service. If you do not have a touchtone telephone, you can speak to a Customer Service Specialist.
Generally, in the middle of month, we authorize payments that are due for the first business day of the following month. Therefore, if you want your change to be reflected in your next payment, you should submit your request as early in the month as possible. See our payment schedule for the last date you can change your next monthly payment.
This list shows the possible withholdings from or adjustments to your CSRS or FERS annuity payment. The list provides a description of the withholdings or adjustments and the code that is used for listing them on your annuity adjustment notice.
However, it does not include the enrollment codes for plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. See our web pages at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp to obtain information about health insurance benefits online.
If you are not receiving social security benefits, you can have Medicare premiums withheld from your annuity payments. We must receive a request for the withholding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We cannot withhold premiums based on your direct request or even one from the Social Security Administration. However, the social security district office may be able to give you additional information.
There are many reasons for changing your health benefits enrollment. If you are changing your coverage because of one of the reasons listed below, we can make the change based on your telephone call. When calling you must have your claim number and social security number, as well as the enrollment number and name for your new plan. Changes we can make by phone include:
You should contact us within the period beginning 31 days before up to 60 days after the date of the event.
You may change the plan in which you are enrolled or from high to low option coverage during the annual Open Season for electing coverage.
If you need assistance with your health benefits enrollment, call 1 (888) 767-6738 , to change your enrollment or if you need to speak with a Customer Service Specialist. Or, see our web pages at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp to obtain information about health insurance benefits online.
If you are eligible for TRICARE or TRICARE-For-Life benefits, you may suspend your FEHB coverage and premium payments. You are able to reenroll in the FEHB Program during the Open Season, or immediately if you are involuntarily disenrolled from the TRICARE program. Select this link to find answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
You can reduce your premiums by reducing your coverage. However, if you reduce coverage, you cannot increase it again at a later date.
See our answer to a frequently asked question about coverage after age 65 and our web pages at http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp to obtain more information about the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program.
To change your coverage, write us.