First Correspondence from OPM

When I retired at the end of June, I wondered how long it would take before I’d hear from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  In an overabundance of caution, I made sure before I retired I had enough money available to cover a year’s worth of expenses.  I also had about 200 hours of annual leave that I got paid for, which I knew would cover my (expensive!) rent in the DC area for the remaining several months I’d be living there before moving to North Carolina.

Well, I have my answer now!  Over the weekend (July 25th), I received a notice in the mail from OPM with a temporary password to assess my account online.  The notice said I’d need the temp password and my claim number to assess my account.  The problem is…I didn’t have a claim number.  I figured it was probably being mailed separately, but I did call OPM this morning to verify that.  I was right.  The nice lady I spoke with told me OPM received my retirement packet from my agency on July 21st.

Today, July 27th, I received a letter from OPM with my claim number.  I was able to go online and use the temporary password to change it to one I created.  I only ran into one small glitch.  I entered the claim number that was on the letter I received, and I got a pop up window telling me I wasn’t entering the right number of digits.  I had to read a little further to find out that I was supposed to add a trailing zero (“0”) to the number I was sent.  I’m not sure why the “0” wasn’t just included in the letter, but it wasn’t.   

Anyway, after I got the “0” thing figured out, everything went smoothly getting my online password changed and setting up security questions.  The letter I received today included the amount of my gross interim annuity payment, how much will be withheld for federal taxes, and what my net payment will be.  The amount of the interim payment is calculated to be less than what my actual annuity will be once OPM determines the full amount I’m eligible to receive. One of the reasons is because health insurance deductions are not withheld while OPM is calculating that final annuity amount.  But I will be responsible for paying those deductions once the final annuity is calculated.

So far, I’m impressed with how quickly the process is moving along.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes OPM to determine my final annuity amount.  


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