After you retire, your agency will send your records to OPM, which will check whether you meet a needed age and service requirement to qualify for those benefits. Assuming you do, it will authorize annuity payments—but at first only an interim amount.
While it will be less than the full amount—commonly around 80 percent of what the benefit would be at first look, although it often turns out to be lower—it will provide you with some income to tide you over until your claim is finalized.
OPM tries to authorize interim payments within 10 days after it receives your retirement package. If everything works smoothly, you’ll usually receive your first interim payment within three to four weeks after you retire.
Why doesn’t OPM pay the full first-glance amount as an interim payment? Because OPM doesn’t want to get back into the business of trying to collect overpayments. On closer look, it may turn out that there are issues to be resolved, for example the creditability of certain periods of service.
Assuming that there aren’t any issues (or that they have been resolved), your regular annuity amount will be calculated and payment authorized. Any money you are owed from when you were in interim pay status will be included in your first regular annuity payment. At the same time, OPM will send you an Annuity Statement and other informational material concerning your retirement benefits.
If you have any questions about the status of your retirement application after it has reached OPM, call their Retirement Information Office at (888) 767-6738, TDD (800) 878-5707.
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