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How to Plan for Retirement

  • Determine your retirement eligibility date (date you meet the age and service requirements).
  • If possible, attend a retirement seminar/briefing. If you wish, talk to a personal financial advisor. 
  • Review your Official Personnel Folder (OPF), and compare your USDA annual benefits statement to your records.
  • Consider your choices regarding deposit/redeposit for civilian service and deposit for military service.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration, and consider eligibility/options (e.g. windfall, government pension offset).
  • Review and, if necessary, make adjustments to your FEHB, FEGLI, and TSP enrollment/contributions. Consider the "5-year coverage rule" for FEHB and FEGLI. (Contact your HRM Retirement Office for Information).
  • If changes are necessary, submit updated Designation of Beneficiary forms to the appropriate office(s).

  • Confirm your retirement eligibility date. If you need help calculating this date, contact your HRM Retirement Office.
  • Schedule a consultation with a retirement specialist and request an estimated annuity computation.
  • Make final decisions regarding payment of civilian deposit/redeposit and military service deposit.
  • Confirm your social security eligibility and the effect it may have on your retirement; also note the impact your retirement benefit(s) may have on your social security.
  • Resolve all financial indebtedness you may have with your agency (i.e. travel, leave, etc.). Pay off any TSP loans.
  • Review and, if necessary, make adjustments to your FEHB, FEGLI and TSP enrollments.
  • If changes are necessary, submit any updated Designation of Beneficiary forms to the appropriate office(s).

  • Set a firm retirement date, complete your application package, and submit it to your HRM Retirement Office.
  • Submit any updated Designation of Beneficiary forms.
  • If you will be waiving Military Retired Pay, notify the appropriate military branch.
  • Request a refund from OPM of any CSRS Voluntary Contributions you have made (unless you are planning to purchase an additional retirement annuity).
  • Make sure all financial indebtedness to the agency has been resolved.
  • Fill out and submit the form "Request for TSP Materials for Separated Participant" found on the TSP website.
  • Receive final retirement counseling.

  • Receive final paycheck and lump-sum annual leave payment (if applicable).
  • USDA will close out your retirement record (SF 2806/SF 3100).
  • Your retirement case and and retirement card is forwarded to OPM in Boyers, PA.
  • USDA will send you a notification that your case has been forwarded to OPM.
  • For questions regarding the processing of your retirement, contact your HRM Retirement Office. 

  • Your retirement package is received by OPM in Boyers, PA.
  • OPM will send you an acknowledgement letter and retirement case claim number.
  • You will be placed in Interim Payment Status and paid a partial annuity.
  • Case is assigned to a specialist for final adjudication.
  • Interim payments will continue until OPM completes final adjudication of your claim.

  • OPM will complete the adjudication of your claim.
  • OPM will start paying you your regular monthly annuity check, including applicable back pay.
  • OPM will start deducting payment for benefits and other allotments, from your regular annuity.
  • OPM will provide you with information outlining your retirement benefits, authorized allotments, taxes, etc.
  • Call OPM if you have any questions about the status of your retirement. 

Note: If you have any questions about your retirement status after receiving your Civil Service Annuity number (also known as your “CSA” number), or following final adjudication, you may contact the Office of Personnel Management Retirement Information Office directly at 202-606-0500 (local) or toll-free at 888-767-6738.

  • Last Modified: September 14, 2020
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