Posted on Friday, 23rd January 2015 by

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Updated 2/22/2024

Please forward this article to everyone in your organization that is planning on retiring over the next five years and tag it for your Facebook and other social media pages.

Once you retire you lose access to many online agency and government web sites that hold valuable information that you may need after you leave. Several recent retirees asked if they could still access their eOPF (electronic Official Personnel File) in retirement. Once you leave federal service all of your official documentation is forwarded to the National Records Center (NRC) to be archived with all those who retired before you.

You can still access much of his information through written requests but it does take time, often months, for them to find, copy, and send you the information you may need. If you are already retired and need information that was in your personnel file contact the NRC for assistance.

Access to your eOPF is often needed for those who wish to work for a contractor in retirement. The retiree may need critical information about their official training, duty stations, security clearances, pay, and positions held during their career for the detailed applications and resumes that contractors often require. If you are thinking about employment in retirement review your eOPF and obtain copies of promotions, details, training, and other pertinent information that you may need to provide your new employer, including security clearances that you may have held.

Security Clearances

If you had a job that required a security clearance within the past two years print out your security clearance authorization from your records. Federal employees that retire are often sought after by contractors that require their employees to have security clearances. If you had a security clearance with your agency before retiring visit the Security Clearance Center to explore lucrative and often high paying contractor employment opportunities.

Your Employment Application

I also suggest that you keep a copy of your most recent employment application, the old SF-171 or whatever application format your agency used that includes this critical information. Many retirees simply shred most of the paperwork they have at the office before walking out the door only to regret it down the road.

I kept several of my old SF-171s that basically provided a comprehensive time line of my military and federal service. These documents provide a wealth of information, not only for future employment but to provide a history of our service for genealogy research or simply to provide to your heirs down the road. Sort of your own personal story of where you where when and what you were doing while you were there. I used this data to write a memior titled “The Early Years, a Road Less Traveled” in 2020.

Leave & Earning Statements & TSP Access

Others have asked how to access the web site and their LES data, Leave and Earnings Statements, after retiring. You can’t access this information after you retire so take advantage of the access before you leave. You will have to find a suitable replacement for travel and as far as LES information goes, use OPM’s Retirement Services Online that provides similar annuity payment statements, copies of your 1099R misc income tax forms, and benefit information for retirees. You will be able to access their online services after your retirement paperwork is processed.

You will retain full access to your TSP account just as you did while still employed and you can go in and change allocations and check your balances daily if desired.

When you select your retirement date be sure to review your eOPF and other agency/OPM sites prior to your departure to capture the information you may need after you leave.

Helpful Retirement Planning Tools

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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. 

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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