Recently, due to budget cuts, OPM reduced their call-center’s hours and they are now open from 7:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. To talk to a retirement consultant, report an annuitant’s death, request a duplicate 1099 R or other issues call their toll free number at 1-888-767-6738. For those in the DC area call 202-606-0500. You will also find other web based options for contacting OPM and reporting deaths on our updated Retiree’s Master Contact List  that you can download and keep with your retirement paperwork.
Retirement claims processing has improved dramatically this year with outstanding retirement processing claims dropping over 50% since January. Even with reduced hours and the sequestration OPM has been able to streamline the process and expedite approvals to reduce the backlog.
- Request a Retirement Benefits Summary & Analysis  from a local adviser. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
FEHB Changes and Proposals
Next year OPM will have more vendors to choose from, a total of 10 for the dental program and 4 for vision. The approved vendors are listed below and rates will be published this fall.
Dental Care Vendors:
- United Concordia
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Delta Dental
- Triple S
- Dominion Dental
- Emblem Health
Approved Vision Plan Vendors:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Healthcare
A major change to the FEHB rate structure is being supported by OPM according to Mike Causey, host of the Federal News Radio Show. OPM is now supporting the self-plus-one FEHB subscription plan similar to how the dental care program now works. This would provide considerable savings to retirees who would be able to reduce their coverage cost from family to self-plus-one. This would also make it easier for retirees to select and pay for Medicare Part B. Many retirees already pay for higher cost family coverage and are hesitant to take on another $100 a month or more to pay for Part B.
Cynthia Compton-Conley, Ph.D. contacted me last week concerning my “New and Bigger Isn’t Always Better ” article that discusses the problem I have hearing TV program and movie audio. Cynthia is retired CSRS and an audiologist and former professor at Gallaudet. She works with hearing loss and developed a comprehensive website with tutorials on room acoustics and hearing loss along with other very helpful information and links. If you too are having hearing problems, Cynthia states that one in 10 Americans have hearing loss, visit her web site at www.soundstrategy.com . I took their free hearing assessment inventory and found the information very helpful. She was also able to explain why I’m having this problem and proposed suitable remedies tailored to my personal situation.
FREE Career Planning Guide for federal Employees
Take Charge of Your Federal Career  is a practical, action-oriented career management workbook that assists employees with the preparation of realistic Individual Development Plans (IDPs). Packed with proven tips and valuable assessment and evaluation tools, this unique workbook provides federal workers with the individualized know-how and guidance they need to identify, obtain, and successfully demonstrate the skills and experience required to qualify for new and better federal jobs. I wrote this book based on my 36 years of federal work experience. We are offering 30 copies, one case of books, to federal training offices and supervisors for $84, the cost of shipping and handling, to introduce agencies and federal offices to this succinct career planning workbook. Pass this on to your training departments and supervisors in your unit. The book is 8 ½” x 11” 216 page perfect bound workbook that will help federal employees plan their careers. Order online  or call 800-782-7424. Ask for Special Offer IDP-1432.
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center 
- FREE Federal Employee’s Retirement Planning Guide 
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center 
- Post Office Jobs & Career Center 
- Job Search – All Sectors 
- Environmental Health & Safety Jobs Center 
- Nuclear Jobs & Careers  – High Paying Jobs
- Stolen Car Plates & Recovery Guide 
- Take Charge of Your Federal Career 
- The Book of U.S. Government Jobs 
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- 2013 Excel Leave Chart (target 2013 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 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 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.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
- 2022 COLA Announced and Annuity Projection Calculator  - October 13th, 2021
- FEHB Average health care Premiums rising for 2022  - October 8th, 2021
- An End to Surprise Health Care Billing! A Cautionary Tale  - October 1st, 2021
- Seeds of Change – Making a Difference  - September 18th, 2021
- Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Premium Changes  - September 12th, 2021
- Deciding When To Retire - A 7-Step Guide  - September 3rd, 2021
- 2022 Leave Chart & Schedule Tracker Now Available  - August 18th, 2021
- Annuity Expectations – Before and After  - August 6th, 2021
- Prescription Savings Cards & Coupons  - July 22nd, 2021
- Unexpected Health Care Costs  - July 9th, 2021
- Maximize Retirement Income & TSP Changes  - June 25th, 2021
- Critical Retirement Decisions - Are You Prepared?  - June 11th, 2021