Posted on Friday, 3rd February 2012 by

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For those of you not yet retired this is good to know information. A 1099-R is what retirees receive from OPM for filing your taxes.  It lists your gross and taxable annuity amounts, federal and state tax withholding, healthcare premiums, and other relevant information.  If you are retired and haven’t received your 1099-R yet you aren’t alone. Many have written because theirs hasn’t arrived and they are having difficulty requesting a duplicate copy.  My 1099-R came in the mail on February 1.  I downloaded a copy from OPM’s Online Services Retiree site last week.

Typically you will receive a 1099-R by the end of January each year.  With all of the turmoil in the Postal Service and planned closings of processing facilities they may come a little later from now on. You have several options for requesting a replacement. You can call OPM or download a copy from OPM Services Online if you have an access code. OPM’s Online Retirement Information Services are similar to Employee Express that those still working can access to initiate allotments, make withholding changes, and download pay stubs.  I highly recommend that all retirees sign up for OPM’s retiree site access after their retirement processing is complete. It saves time and aggravation because it can be frustrating contacting OPM during peak times by phone.

If your 1099-R still hasn’t arrived call OPM at 1-888-767-6738 (weekdays between 7:30 AM to 7:45 PM EST), fax requests to 1-724-794-6633, or email questions to retire@opm.gov. Call early in the day if possible to get through and you must have your retirement claim number or Social Security number available. OPM advises that “the internet is not a secure environment for transmitting personal information via email.” Replies via email typically take 15 days or more.

The problem with calling is that you will more than likely receive a busy signal, especially if you call later in the day or during peak periods like now when everyone and their uncle is looking for their 1099-R statements.  I find Tuesday mornings around 7:30 to 8:30 AM the best time to call and get through. Once you get through you have to answer several voice prompts before getting to a live person.  Print out our Retiree master Contact list for your records and keep it handy for easy reference.

Many who contacted us this year had an OPM web site user password but couldn’t get into the system. OPM changed the password requirements and your password must be 8 to 12 characters long and must include at least one upper and lower case letter and a number.  Current users that enter the system with their original password are redirected to a page where you must reset your password.  Unfortunately, the directions on the site are confusing because OPM asks for a temporary numeric password instead of asking you to enter your current password to begin the process.  You can use your original password if you accessed your account anytime in the past 15 months or use a new numeric password that OPM will send out to you upon request.  I simply entered my original password, established a new password using their new password composition requirements, and gained access immediately.

New retirees, retirees that haven’t to date requested access, and anyone who hasn’t used the site for 15 months or more must contact OPM by phone or fax to request a temporary numeric password to use the site.  New retirees can’t apply until their retirement is completely processed and they are receiving their full monthly annuity payment.

Updates

TSP Performance – It is interesting to note that the C fund gained a meager 0.91% last year while the F Fund was the winner with a 7.79% gain. All of the Life Cycle funds lost money except for the L-2010 which broke even. The S&P 500 Index was essentially flat while the G Fund gained 2.03%, the S fund lost 4.81% and the I Fund lost 11.89%.  Add to the discomfort the historically low CD rates offered at many banks nationwide of less than .5% for up to a year or more.  We found one bank locally offering .75% for a 1 year and 1.25% for a 15 month CD.  Not bad for today’s market but still meager by any definition.  Visit our TSP pages for more information about your TSP.  Many are projecting the markets to improve in this election year; only time will tell.

Presidential Letter Request Timeline We posted updated procedures for requesting a presidential letter for retirees on our site last month. Krista, one of our site visitors, requested a letter for one of their employees on 10/31/2011. It was printed on 1/6/2012 and mailed on 1/9/2012. It took 71 days for the letter to arrive.

Retiree Job Postings – We continue to post new job listings on our Jobs Board from employers nationwide that are looking for retired federal employees. Many retirees supplement their retirement income with full or part time work. Here are several new job listings that you may find interesting:

  • In-Store Representatives (New Locations) Pay from $8.00 to $9.50 per hour and flexible hours.
  • Shipping Manager, Memphis, TN.
  • Comptroller / Accounting Manager, Washington, DC

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.

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