PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement in order to ensure it goes smoothly. Here you will find information to help ensure your retirement starts well.
For technicians within 5 years of their retirement date, you should request an estimate from the Army Benefits Center - Civilian (ABC-C), they will do a thorough records review and complete your estimate within 3-5 months. You can find their website at https://www.abc.army.mil or call 1-877-276-9287 option 3. Another avenue to request an estimate is through EBIS, click on the 'eRetirements' tab and follow the instructions. Plan on attending the pre-retirement briefing hosted in-state. If you cannot make the briefing or need a refresher, ABC-C offers DCS throughout the year. Click Here for the schedule.
Submit your retirement application to ABC-C NLT 60-90 days prior to the effective date of retirement. Early submission is critical to allow for a thorough review of your retirement application and ensure timely payment processing for unused annual leave before your package goes to Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Retirement & Insurance Forms: http://www.opm.gov/forms/html/ri.asp
TSP -- Saving for your retirement is an important part of your retirement benefits in addition to your monthly annuity. The Thrift Savings Plan Website has additional information.
Military Buy Back Policy - OPM and DFAS have implemented changes in the procedures involving payment of military deposits. Payment of military deposits after the date of separation may only be made in cases of administrative error. Therefore, military service deposits must be paid in full prior to the date of separation or retirement. Please allow at least 4 months for the process. For technicians who are retiring immediately following a deployment, ABC-C is available to provide assistance to help expedite payment.
Federal Ballpark Estimate - You can use the Federal Ballpark Estimate to automatically calculate estimates of future Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirement benefits and Thrift Savings Plan account balances. It will also let you know how well you are doing in meeting your savings goal.
Retire in Five Years - You should begin planning several years before the date you have set for retirement so that you will know what is required to continue certain benefits into retirement.
Retire in One Year -- Here are specific steps you should do to get ready for retirement.
Less than One Year to Retirement -- As the time gets near, ensure you are ready.
Applying for Retirement -- This explains the retirement process.
Federal Annuity Claims Expert System (FACES) Estimator -- FACES is a secure system designed for retirement counselors to calculate estimates for employees subject to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS).
Refund of Retirement Contributions -- This explains the options available to employees who leave Federal service before being eligible for retirement.
Voluntary Contributions Inquiries -- Voluntary contribution accounts are available only to CSRS and CSRS Offset employees; those employees may invest an amount equal to up to 10 percent of their career federal basic pay in such accounts, where the money earns interest tax-deferred until withdrawn. Withdrawals are allowed either as lump-sums at any time or as annuities at retirement. The Voluntary Contributions program has existed for many decades, but many employees still are unaware of it, as are many personnel officials. There is a degree of confusion with the Thrift Savings Plan; some employees have been told that the TSP superseded the VC program. In fact, the two programs are separate and participation in one does not affect the other. To open a VC account, file form SF 2804 at the address on the form. Inquire about your voluntary contributions options before you retire.