Expert's View

Image: Postmodern Studio/

Reg Jones

In my last article I mentioned that you should call OPM’s Retirement Information Office with questions about the status of your retirement application once it cleared your agency and was in OPM’s hands. Those phone numbers, again, are 1-888-767-6738, TDD 1-800-878-5707. (See, Retirement Processing and Interim Payments: Hurry Up and Wait)

However, OPM also has Services Online ( that can handle many other kinds of requests. For example, you can now do the following:


◦ Change your federal and state income tax withholding

◦ Change your mailing address

◦ Change your password

◦ Establish an allotment to an organization

◦ Request a duplicate annuity booklet

◦ Set up a checking or savings allotment

◦ Sign up for direct deposit of your annuity payment


◦ Update your email address

◦ Opt-in to receive information electronically

◦ View/print your annuity statement

◦ View/print your 1099-R tax forms

◦ View/print your retirement services reference card (ID card)

◦ View/print your verification of your life insurance (FEGLI) coverage

◦ View the status of your case while you are in interim pay


When logging in, you’ll have to enter nine characters for your claim number, with both a prefix and a suffix.

Retiree claim numbers begin with an A and end with a 0. In other words, type in A, then seven numbers, and end with 0. If you have any trouble logging in, you can click on the Contact Us icon and get help.

Surviving spouse claim numbers begin with a F and end with a W

Widower claim numbers begin with an F and end with a X.

Insurable interest claim numbers begin with an F and end with a Y

Ex-spouses of deceased employees claim numbers begin with an F and end with a Z.

Note: If you are a representative payee, guardian or conservator (or any other third party representing an OPM annuitant), these online services aren’t available to you. You’ll have to call one of the phone numbers mentioned in the first paragraph.

Retirement Processing and Interim Payments: Hurry Up and Wait

Federal Retirement: When Age Isn’t Just a Number

Upcoming COLA for Retirees to Be Largest in Four Decades

Leaving Federal Service? Go Out With Class

Federal Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

FERS Retirement Guide 2022