Everyone who planned to retire in 2020 has already done so. This leaves those eligible to retire but decided to stick around and those who haven’t attained the age and years of service required to retire. But it’s just a matter of years for most to attain retirement eligibility and eventually fill out the forms. In the meantime, take advantage of the time you have to ensure you do it right. There are two types of retirement application forms:
There’s one at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf3107.pdf for FERS employees
There’s another at www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2801.pdf for CSRS employees.
While both forms do a good job in helping you understand what you need to do, this article will highlight all you need to know to fill out the forms and the procedure to follow. We will focus on certain elements in the FEHB and CSRS forms, following their order on the FERS version.
Section A – Identifying Information
Fill in your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, home address, phone number, and email address in the boxes provided. You need to indicate if you are a U.S. citizen and if you’re filing for disability retirement.
Section B – Federal Service
In this section, you’ll type in your department or the agency you are retiring from. You’ll also need to put down the title of your position, your pay plan, occupational series, and the date you want to retire. You also need to indicate whether you were honorably discharged from the armed forces and entitled to military retirement pay. Just check the box if you are receiving reserve retired pay.
Section C – Marital Information (FERS)
Section E – Marital Information (CSRS)
Here you’ll indicate whether you are married or not. If you are, check the yes box and provide your spouse’s personal details, including the name, date of birth, and Social Security number. If you are divorced and your former spouse is entitled to any benefit, check the “Yes” box and upload a copy of the court order(s).
Section D – Annuity Election (FERS)
Section F – Annuity Election (CSRS)
Tick the box for the annuity you want to receive. You can choose a reduced annuity with maximum survivor annuity (50% for FERS and 55% for CSRS) or a partial survivor annuity (25% for FERS, and $1 above for CSRS). Alternatively, you can elect an annuity that’s payable within your lifetime or to a spouse or any beneficiary you choose.
Section E – Insurance Information (FERS)
Section D – Insurance Information (CSRS)
Here you have to indicate whether you are eligible for FEHB coverage. To be eligible, you have to be enrolled in the program for five consecutive years before you retire. If not eligible, tick “No.” Tick “Yes” or “No” to the question of whether a court requires you to provide your health benefits coverage to your children.
Next, tick “Yes” if you are eligible to continue your FEGLI coverage. The eligibility requirement is the same as the FEHB above. You have to check the boxes that match your decision as regards your FEGLI benefit. If you aren’t married, you have the option of giving your FEGLI benefit to your former spouse or to any other person of interest to you.
Section F – Other Claims Information (FERS)
Section C – Other Claims Information (CSRS)
You’ll only have to fill in this section if you applied for or are receiving compensation from the Department of Labor due to an illness or injury. If it doesn’t apply to you, skip it.
Section G – Information Relating to Unmarried Dependent Children (CSRS & FERS)
Provide the names, dates of birth, and (if any) disability for your children. This would be useful for OPM in the event of your death.
Section I – Applicant’s Certification (CSRS & FERS)
This is the final stage where you certify that all the statements you’ve made in the application are true to the best of your knowledge. Next, you’ll be shown a list of military-related items like survivor election, OWCP, life insurance, and federal tax. Just tick what applies to you. This also provides a window to look through everything to ensure you missed nothing. Typically, this should come before the certification, but that’s just a bad design.
That’s basically all of it. It’s important to make the time to fill these forms properly so that you won’t have any issues.