OPM has specified the situations in which retiring federal employees may make payments to capture credit for military service time toward a FERS or CSRS annuity. In general, such payments must be received by the employing agency before retirement, but the deadline may be extended if OPM, the Merit Systems Protection Board or a federal court find that the employing agency committed an administrative error. The new guidance says such an error can occur for example if the employing agency “provides material misinformation concerning the deposit and the consequences of not making the deposit prior to separation,” or if its response to an employee’s inquiry “either misrepresents the dollar amounts in question, or is so indirect, inaccurate, or incomplete as to confuse the employee as to the amount of the deposit or the effect of any failure to make the deposit on the annuity recalculation.” In such a case, the individual will be given the chance to make a payment even after retirement, within a time limit to be set in each case. The guidance adds that while agencies are required to provide “accurate and complete counseling” about the amount that would be required and the impact of making or not making the deposit, it is the employee’s responsibility to seek that counseling and to gather the documents needed to make that calculation, such as military salary history.
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