Expert's View

Following are the steps that various parts of your agency will follow as they jointly work toward getting you on the annuity roll.

Assuming that your retirement application passed muster, your personnel office will generate a Certified Summary of Federal Service, which will list your federal civilian and military service. When you get your copy, be sure that everything on it is correct. Make any needed changes and return it to your personnel office.


Your personnel office will:

• certify your FEGLI coverage to OPM, if you are eligible to continue that coverage;

• transfer your FEHB enrollment to OPM, if you are eligible to continue coverage;

• forward any current designations of beneficiary that are in your OPF
(See also, Reviewing Your Official Personnel Folder)

• process an SF 50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to separate you from the service;

• complete and certify the personnel office portion of your retirement application; and

• forward your retirement application and related records to your agency payroll office.


Your payroll will then:

• authorize your final salary payment, but only after you separate for retirement. It will also authorize any lump-sum payment you owed for unused annual leave. It you have been offered a “buyout,” it also will authorize that payment;

• certify and close out your Individual Retirement Record (IRR), the official record of your current service, pay rates, unused sick leave credit for retirement purposes, etc. Since the IRR contains a list of your retirement deductions for your last period of service, it can’t be closed out until your final salary payment has been issued;

• certify your annual basic pay for life insurance purposes, if you are carrying any into retirement; and

• forward your retirement package to OPM.

If it’s on the ball, your agency payroll office will notify you in writing when your file has been sent to OPM. That notice will include the register number, the transmittal and mailing dates, and your payroll office number. This information is important if you want to check on the status of your case after your agency has sent it to OPM.

See also, Retirement Eligibility & FERS Minimum Retirement Age (MRA)