Posted on Friday, 7th November 2014 by Herbert CaseyPrint This Post
Do you need to start, change or stop federal or state income tax withholdings; change your mailing address, start or change the direct deposit of your payment; or view a statement describing your annuity payment. If so, it’s easy with OPM’s Retirement Services Online (SOL) www.servicesonline.opm.gov. You can have access to your annuity payment actions anywhere and anytime. You can use SOL if you receive benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or FERS Special, or the Organization Retirement and Disability System (ORDS).
To access Services Online, you need your “CSA” or “CSF” claim number and a password. If you have lost or forgotten your SOL password, you may request a new password selecting the Forgot Claim Number/Password from the Services Online Home page within the Login box. You can also request a password by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your account has not been accessed within a 15 month period, you must contact the Retirement Operations Center at 1-888-767-6738.
When you log in to Services Online, you must enter nine characters from your claim number, with both a prefix and suffix. If you are retired, you received a Retirement Services Reference Card with your name and claim number. The claim number begins with an “A” and ends with a zero “0”. For example: A22222220 . If you are a surviving spouse, the claim number begins with an “F” and ends with a “W”. Therefore you will enter “F” and the seven numbers and the suffix. For example: F2222222W. If you are a widower, and have been receiving benefits for many years, your claim number may end with an “X”. Therefore, you will enter “F” and the seven numbers and the suffix, “X”. For example: F2222222X.
Once you’ve logged in you will see the Main Menu. The Main Menu is divided into 3 sections:
- Annuity Payment Actions,
- Miscellaneous and
- Related Pages or Sites.
Under Annuity Payment Actions, you can select any of the links for annuity payment adjustment you are making or to change Federal/State Tax withholdings and allotments. You can also view and print your annuity statement and 1099-R Tax Forms. Under Miscellaneous, you can change your password, verify your Life Insurance and see a history of annuity payment adjustments you have made using the website. Related Pages or Sites allow you to select links to other related websites or pages. However, if you select any of these links you will leave Services Online and will be required to enter your claim number and password again to access Services Online.
Below are some of the most frequently used features of Service Online.
The annuity statement shows your annuity payment, including the gross amount, up to 35 possible deductions or additions, and the net amount. You may select to view and print an annuity statement for each of the past fourteen months. Pick the month of the statement you wish to see from the list and press the Go button. If you wish to print a statement, press Print and follow any instructions on your computer.
Checking and Savings Allotments
Checking and savings allotments are voluntary deductions for allotments sent by direct deposit to an account held in the name of the annuitant. You may have up to two allotments and they must be maintained at a domestic financial institution. The allotment must be for a minimum of $50.
You can start, change, or stop an allotment to a checking or savings account. To start or change an allotment, you need your financial institution’s routing number. You will also need your account number and the type of account. To start an allotment, pick the Start button. To change an allotment, pick the Change button in the field which shows the detailed information about the allotment. To stop an allotment, pick the Stop button in the field which shows the detailed information about the allotment.
Federal Income Tax Withholding
Generally, unless you specify a monthly withholding amount, OPM withholds Federal Income Tax as if you are married and claiming three allowances. You can use OPM’s calculator on www.opm.gov/retire to figure the amount of your monthly Federal Income Tax withholding based on marital status and exemptions. Then, use Services Online to change the Federal Income Tax withheld from your annuity payment.
Start or change the withholding each month by entering the new amount you want withheld in the box labeled, “New Deduction Amount”, and selecting the Save button. Generally, OPM authorizes payments in the middle of the month that are due for the first business day of the following month. If you want your change to be reflected in your next month’s payment, you should submit your request before the last date, as shown in OPM’s payment schedule, for changing that month’s payment. You will be notified of the effective date of your change.
State Income Tax Withholding
You can start, change, or stop your State Income Tax withholding anytime. The amount must be in whole dollars and at least $5. You can change from one State to another for State income tax withholding purposes but, you cannot withhold for more than two States in a tax year on the website. Start or change the withholding by entering the new amount you want withheld each month in the box labeled, “New Deduction Amount”. Pick the State from those listed, then press the save button.
View/Print 1099-R Tax Forms
You may use the website to ask for a duplicate statement for the current filing year. It will be sent to you by regular mail. If you need a statement for a prior year, you will need to contact OPM.
You can view a history of the changes you have made using the website during the last 14 months.
View the Status of Your Case
You can view the status of your case while in interim pay status.
View your Current Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Coverage
You can view and print your current FEGLI coverage. While you can see your coverage amount, you will not be able to see your FEGLI designation of beneficiary election. If you are not sure who you designated as your beneficiary, or you have had a significant life change, such as a marriage, divorce, or death, you may want to consider completing a new designation of beneficiary form.
With so many transactions available, you can manage your retirement account whenever it is convenient for you. You can also participate in customer satisfaction surveys to let OPM know about your experience using the system. You can opt in to receive SOL information electronically from OPM. It allows you to get information quicker than in a hard copy format. To opt in, click on the Update Email Address/Opt in to Receive Information Electronically link on the main menu. You will then be asked for your email address.
- Request a Retirement Benefits Summary & Analysis. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
- Retirement Planning Guide
- 2015 Leave Record & Scheduling Spreadsheet
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire
- Master Retiree Contact List (Important contact numbers and information)
- Survivor’s Guide
- Estate Planning Guide (Prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile your personal “Survivor’s Guide.)
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center
- FREE Federal Employee’s Retirement Planning Guide
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center
The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and financial information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties 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 and our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
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