Posted on Saturday, 26th November 2011 by Dennis DampPrint This Post
Rosemary, a subscriber to our Retirement Planning News Letter, asked for clarification for requesting FEHB open season plan brochures on OPM’s new web site. I mentioned that the web site was easy to use in my article on the FEHB Open Season last week. She visited the site and was confused by the numbers that are used to identify the various plans in her area.
To determine what your plan’s codes are, the 2 digit codes in front of the plan name, print out the “Open Season Health Benefits Guide” for your area that is provided on OPM’s site. The first two digits of each plan’s 3 digit code, as listed in this guide, are the numbers you need to identify the correct plan to request online.
Go to https://retireefehb.opm.gov/, register, and then click on the “Open Seasons Federal benefit Guide” link on the left side of the page in the white space. Select your state and then print out the 6 page brochure. This guide lists available plans with comparisons for your location. All plans for your area are listed with a three digit code. The first two digits of each plan are used to identify the plan number for the brochures you select to have sent to you.
I found the site and process to request brochures by mail easy to use. Retirees can order plan brochures for their area using the following procedure:
1) Go to https://retireefehb.opm.gov/ (Register if you haven’t already)
2) Download and review your “Open Season Health Benefits Guide”
3) Click on “Brochures” on the upper left side of the home page in blue
4) Click on “Mail Brochures” on the lower right bottom of this page
5) Select your state from the drop down list
6) Identify plan brochures (The first 2 of the 3 numbers for each plan listed in the Open Season Benefits Guide are used to order plans)
1) OPM Retirement Processing Backlog (Update)
OPM is working to resolve the backlog problem. John Berry, the OPM Director, recently told Congress that 60,000 retirement applications are currently in process up from 38,000 last October. The backlog continues to grow as over 9,600 new retirement cases are added each month. OPM can only process 7,700 cases a month with current staffing levels. The backlog is expected to more than double by 2014.
OPM claims examiners are processing 3.5 cases a day on average and the average time to process a retirement start to finish is about 133 days.
The good news is that OPM has hired 35 new claims examiners and plans hiring 40 more in the near future. The committee suggested possibly rehiring retirees to help with the workload. This problem could get much worse as agencies offer VERA early outs to address their budget shortfalls. There are things that you can do to help avoid problems with your retirement. Follow the steps that I outlined in my article titled “Could You Survive on Interim Retirement Checks” when submitting your retirement paperwork.
2) Requesting a Letter From the President for Retirees
The process changed and the new guidance including format and routing information is now available online. We also updated the information for requesting flags and retiree gifts such as agency logo mugs and other presentations.
3) FREE Copies of Take Charge of Your Federal Career
Receive a FREE copy of Take Charge of Your Federal Career (a $29.95 value) when federal employees order my new Federal Resume Guide and only pay an additional $4.95 handling charge + shipping. Limited to 1 Free Copy per Order. Take Charge of Your Federal Career helps employees in mid career to within 5 years of retirement target higher paying jobs to increase their retirement annuity and TSP savings.
Request a FREE Retirement Benefits Summary Analysis from a local adviser. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections. A sample analysis is available for your review. This service is not affiliated with www.federalretirement.net
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center
- FREE Federal Employee’s Retirement Planning Guide
- Federal Retiree Job Opportunities
- Federal Employee & Retiree BLOG
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center
- Post Office Jobs & Career Center
- Job Search – All Sectors
- Environmental Health & Safety Job Center
- Nuclear Jobs and Careers
- Stolen Car Plates & Recovery Guide
- Educational Opportunities
- Take Charge of Your Federal Career (A Career Planning Workbook)
- The Book of U.S. Government Jobs (How to Apply for Federal Jobs)
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- 2012 Excel Leave Chart (target 2012 retirement dates and determine exact leave balances for each date)
- 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 (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
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 articles are not intended nor should they be considered investment advice. Our reply is time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
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- Smart Retirement Decisions, FEHB Discussion, & Updates - June 11th, 2015
- FEHB Self Plus One Implementation Update - May 28th, 2015
- Survivor's Beware - The TSP Trap - May 16th, 2015
- Retiree Identification Cards & Hearing is Believing - April 29th, 2015
- The TSP Advantage (Should I Stay or Go) - April 6th, 2015
- The 2016 COLA and Your Annuity - March 7th, 2015
- Have You considered Hiring A Financial Adviser? - February 13th, 2015
- 1099-R Forms, FREE Tax Software, and Updates - January 27th, 2015
- CAUTION - Do This Before You Retire - January 23rd, 2015
- Are You Ready For Retirement? - January 12th, 2015
- TSP Survivor Withdrawal Options - Update - January 5th, 2015
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