How to Submit Your ‘Healthy’ and Complete Federal Retirement Application, by Jeff Boettcher
If you are currently going through the process of planning your retirement, you will need to submit a complete federal retirement application, but the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suggests making it ‘healthy’. For example, this describes a form that is complete from the very top while containing the right signatures and dates. With all the questions asked on the form, you should provide full answers as well as check the appropriate boxes.
Avoiding Common Problems with Retirement Applications
According to OPM, there are some common issues that arise when completing a federal retirement application. For many, this includes issues with the survivor election chapter, which needs to be filled regardless of your relationship status. For example, consent must be given by the spouse if a married applicant were to elect less than a full survivor annuity. Furthermore, the section regarding court orders must still be addressed even if there is no order.
Elsewhere, you’ll also need to list all periods of creditable civilian and military service; for the latter, you’ll need a Form DD-214. If you happen to be taking early retirement or perhaps even discontinued service retirement, there will be additional documentation to complete. Finally, the forms require you to provide information regarding your FEHB status and whether any of your policies will continue into retirement. For example, individuals need to have worked in federal employment for five years before their retirement date. If you also want to remain eligible for FEGLI, you need to prove your coverage for the previous five years here too.
As you can see, a healthy retirement application can be difficult to achieve so take your time, don’t feel the need to rush the process, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you feel your application would benefit. Oftentimes a qualified financial professional is the best solution to your lack of knowledge. But make sure you find a highly-trained and knowledgeable federal employee financial planner.