As Oct 1 draws closer, everyone is bracing for what looks to be another certain game of congressional chicken that will cause billions of dollars in losses, and a lot of pain for people who rely on government services.
Some federal employees may enjoy it as a welcome respite from the drudgery of their daily routine. Others will worry about furloughs and pay loss during the shutdown. Federal retirees fall under both categories of people who rely on government services and get paid by the government.
It’s understandable that as a federal retiree, you may be worried about retirement services during the shutdown. Well, you can at the very least stay informed while Congress goes through its routine.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has published a guide for exactly this situation – providing guidance for shutdown furloughs.
The guide includes separate sections for everything from furloughs and working during a shutdown to pay and benefits, leave, etc. It also provides information about the effect of a shutdown furlough on Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions, investments, and loans.
For retirees, the guide provides detailed information about retirement services during a government shutdown.
Federal Retirement Services During a Government Shutdown
For starters, you should know that the effect of a shutdown furlough is the same for employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
Secondly, retirees under both CSRS and FERS will continue to receive their scheduled federal annuity payments on the first business day of the month, irrespective of whether there’s a shutdown.
If you submit a retirement application during a shutdown, the effective date will remain the same. There may be a delay in processing as OPM waits for other agencies to provide the necessary information. However, OPM Retirement Services employees will still be working as usual during a government furlough.