After retirement, the Office of Personnel Management provides most benefits services that a human resources office provides to an active employee.
Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), retiring employees can elect to have their annuities reduced to provide survivor benefits for a current or former spouse or for certain other persons.
The annual adjustments to annuities to reflect changes in the cost of living represent one of the most important provisions in federal retirement programs.
Federal retirees may be re-employed in any position for which they are qualified, subject to the restrictions described below.
Medicare is a health insurance program for people ages 65 or older, people with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant) and some people with disabilities under age 65.
Employees may invest in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) on a pay-period basis either in percentage-of-salary amounts or whole dollar amounts, up to an annual dollar maximum--called the elective deferral limit--set by the IRS for tax-advantaged retirement savings plans ($17,000 in 2012).
All employees may elect to invest any portion of their current account balances or future contributions in any or all of the funds. All participants also may make interfund transfers. An interfund transfer is the movement of all or some of the money in a participant's account among the funds.
Loans and in-service withdrawals offer means to access a TSP account while still employed. They serve different purposes and have unique rules. One primary difference is that while money drawn out as a loan must be repaid into the TSP account, money taken out as an in-service withdrawal may not be repaid.