FEDweek

Submitting a Healthy Retirement Application

To help speed up the processing of your retirement application, it helps to submit what OPM calls a “healthy” application. Such an application is “a complete, original form, signed by the applicant, in ink and dated” and all questions must be answered, all applicable boxes checked and all areas requiring initials must be initialed.

OPM says the most common problems include: a survivor election must be indicated, regardless of whether the individual is married; if a married applicant elects less than the full survivor annuity, spousal consent must be provided and the election on the application must agree with the spousal consent; the court order question must be answered even if there is no order.

Other areas needing special attention include: all periods of creditable civilian and military service must be listed and military service must be documented on a Form DD-214; additional documentation is needed if the employee is taking voluntary early retirement or discontinued service retirement; documentation of the employee’s FEHB status and eligibility to continue coverage into retirement — in particular, that the retiring employee meets the requirement of FEHB coverage for the five years before retirement — must be included; and similarly, proof of coverage under FEGLI for the prior five years must be included to remain eligible under that program.