Expert's View

Have you ever made deposits to get credit for active duty military time or non-deposit civilian service, or made redeposits for periods of service where you took a refund of your contributions? If so, you may either owe more than you thought or be eligible for a refund. That’s because OPM discovered that computational errors had been made on the interest due for some of those payment accounts.

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By way of background, interest on pre-October 1, 1982, deposits and redeposits under CSRS is fixed at an annual rate of 3 percent and accrues pro-rated daily. On the other hand, interest on post-October 1, 1982 deposits and redeposits under both CSRS and FERS is variable and accrues annually. Unfortunately, system glitches led to both undercharges and overcharges, and, in a few cases, no charges at all.

When OPM finally gets the problem under control, it will send corrected statements to all active account holders letting them know if they owe something or are due something. In the meantime, account holders will be in limbo.

If you want to get a paid in full receipt, learn what your “balance due” is, or find out if OPM has received a payment, send an e-mail to screceipts@opm.gov. Be sure to include your name, date of birth and CSD claim number.

On the other hand, if you want to make a payment, send your check made out to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to U. S. OPM, P.O. Box 979035, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Be sure to include your name, date of birth and CSD claim number.

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If you’d like to have payments taken out of your checking or savings account to pay for service credit, download a copy of OPM form RI 16-28, Authorization to Make Direct Payments, at www.opm.gov/forms. When completing the form, mark the New Enrollment Box. You can also stop payments by using the same form, making sure to mark the Discontinue Pre-Authorization Direct Payment Service box. In either case, send the completed form to the address in the preceding paragraph.

FYI: If you have made or are making service credit payments for active duty service in the military, that information should show up on your leave and earnings statement. On the other hand, if you are making those payments for non-military service, it won’t. That’s because those payments are made to OPM, not the agency for which you work. Fortunately, OPM keeps a record of the money paid and will combine it with any money paid to your agency when you transfer to another agency, die, or retire.