While covered under FERS, you paid contributions towards the Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and most likely the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
Basic Benefit Plan
If you have five or more years of creditable civilian service, you have 2 options:
- Deferred annuity - Leave your money in the retirement fund and apply for a deferred annuity once you meet the age and service requirements.
If you do not file a beneficiary form (SF-3102) and die before the commencing date of your annuity, your benefits will be paid in the normal order of precedence.
- Refund of retirement deductions – Complete an application for a refund (SF-3106). If you submit the form within 30 days of separation, return it to the Benefits Office. After 30 days, forward it to OPM at the address on the form. Questions regarding a refund application that has been submitted should be directed to OPM at (888) 767-6738.
If you have less than five years of creditable civilian service, your have 2 options:
- Leave your money in the retirement fund if you believe you may return to the Federal Government. You may apply for a refund at any time after separation.
- Refund of retirement deductions – Complete an application for a refund (SF-3106). If you submit the form within 30 days of separation, return it to the Benefits Office. After 30 days, forward it to OPM at the address on the form.
You earned credits in the same manner as the private industry. These credits will be added to any past or future credits earned to establish benefits. Contact the Social Security Administration for information.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
You are fully vested in your own contributions, any matching Government contributions, and any earnings on these contributions. If you have at least 3 years of civilian Federal service, you are vested in the automatic 1% Government contributions, plus earnings.
- Withdrawal options: You have several withdrawal options. Refer to the TSP website for details. Before electing an option, read about important tax information.
- Beneficiary forms: If you do not submit a designation of beneficiary in your TSP account, your benefits will be paid in the normal order of precedence.
- Outstanding TSP loan(s): pay it off in full or consider it a taxable distribution in the year you separate.
If you are not going to another job, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance from your local Public Employment Service Office. The SF-8 provides further information.
Life Insurance (FEGLI)
Coverage will continue for free for 31 calendar days after your employment ends. During the 31-day period you may convert your coverage to an individual policy.
Health Benefits (FEHB)
Coverage will continue for free for 31 days after the last day of the pay period in which you separate. You have the following options:
- Convert to an individual (non-group) policy. You will receive a form to change your health benefits enrollment (SF-2810). This form provides information on converting.
To convert, submit the form to your health benefits carrier within 31 calendar days from the date your employment ends. Contact the carrier with any questions.
- Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) for up to 18 months after separation. Select any plan in the Federal program that you are eligible to enroll. Refer to the TCC pamphlet for additional information.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
- Health Care and Limited Expense Health Care: Contributions will terminate on the date of separation, but any eligible expenses incurred before that date will still be reimbursed. If you have funds in your account for which you have not incurred expenses, those funds will be forfeited.
- Dependent Care: Contributions will terminate, but you may continue to be reimbursed for expenses until the end of the benefit period or until your account balance is exhausted; whichever is sooner.
Vision and Dental Insurance (FEDVIP)
Coverage terminates at the end of the pay period in which you separate.
Long Term Care (LTC)
Coverage is fully portable. If you are paying premiums through payroll deductions, you must switch to another payment plan. Complete a billing change form.
Post-1956 Military Service
Planning to apply for a deferred retirement and have Post-1956 military service? You must make a deposit to receive credit for the service. This must be done before your employment ends. Speak to your Benefits Contact.
- Annual leave: You will receive a lump sum payment for any unused leave. It will follow the same electronic deposit as your pay check.
- Sick leave: If you return to the Federal Government, any accrued sick leave will be re-credited to your account.
You will to have access to myPay for up to one year after you separate. You will use it to access your final pay slip, obtain your W-2, and review your lump sum annual leave payment.