Posted on Sunday, 21st October 2012 by

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OPM revised and updated several FERS and CSRS retirement application forms in 2012. Before submitting your application check your form’s date to ensure you have the updated version.

(Forward this email to others in your organization to give them a heads up about this.)

You can download the updated forms online at http://federalretirement.net/retireforms.htm.  The forms are identified as updated and they were revised May of 2012. Even though these forms do not specify “Previous Editions are not usable” like the SF-2801 CSRS form specifies it is best to send in the most current form to avoid any processing delays.  Here is a list of the updated forms:

  • SF 3107 (FERS Retirement Application) Revised May 2012)
  • R1 92-19 Application for Deferred or Postponed FERS Retirement (May 2012)
  • 1496A OPM Form – Application for Deferred or Postponed CSRS Retirement (May 2012)

To avoid processing delays follow the guidance in the “Retirement Precautions” article that I published last January. The majority of delays are due to improperly submitted forms and missing information.

Pay Freeze & COLA Update

The President recommended a .5% raise in January for federal employees and he signed a continuing resolution in September delaying the proposed increase until March 27, 2013. NARFE reported in their November issue that “President Obama was extending the two-year pay freeze until Congress was able to pass successfully the fiscal 2013 spending bills.” There is still some uncertainty surrounding this increase.

Retirees won out here. They, along with all Social Security recipients will receive an increase in January. My last column announced that the Congressional Budget Office was anticipating a 1.3% to 1.9% Cola increase for 2013. The Social Security Administration announced a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment last week that will apply to FERS and CSRS annuities starting with our January 2013 checks. All CSRS employees will receive the COLA. FERS retirees under age 62 don’t receive a COLA except for FERS survivors, disability retirees, and those in law enforcement and fire fighters who retired under special retirement provisions.  You can view all COLA adjustments since 1999 on www.federalretirement.net to see how annuities have increased over time.  Since I retired on December 31, 2004 my annuity received total COLA increases of 20.5% not including compounding.

New FERS Employee’s Contribution Increase

Thankfully, only new employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 will be subject to the new higher payroll contributions under the new Revised Annuity Employees (RAE) coverage. Current FERS employees contribute .8% while new regular FERS employees will contribute 2.3 % more for a total of 3.1% of their salary after taxes. At the same time government will contribute 2.3% less. The new program is titled FERS-RAE and we added a link on our Annuity page to OPM’s Benefit Administration Letter # 12-104 that describes the changes that resulted from Public Law 112-96, Section 5001, the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.”

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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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