Delays in annuity payments draw questions from Capitol Hill

New federal retirees rightly expect a smooth transition—from active payroll to retirement and annuity payments. But there are mounting signs of problems, in particular, significant delays in the timely start to these transfers to folks who are winding down their federal career.

Now, a prominent lawmaker is pressing for information and a speedy resolution regarding the problem. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who chairs of the subcommittee on government operations in the House of Representatives, dispatched a letter to Anita Adkins. Adkins is the acting head of the National Finance Center (NFC), the party responsible for efficiently initiating the payments.

Connolly, according to a press release from his office, wants a briefing detailing the source of the reported delays.

“One report found that the NFC normally transmitted service history records within 30 days of an agency request,” Connolly wrote in his letter. “[B]ut it is currently taking anywhere from 60-to-90 days.” 

“That delay has placed undue and unanticipated financial concerns on retiring federal workers who have earned timely administration of these benefits,” he continued.

As of February, OPM reported there were some 4,000 new retirees whose paperwork—and payments—had been delayed. Each year, about 100,000 new retirees leave full-time federal employment, with NFC processing the records needed to initiate their annuities. 

Connolly also noted that these significant delays have become an acknowledged issue among federal employers. “At least three agencies have warned employees of significant delays in retirement processing,” he wrote.

The subcommittee wants the briefing by April 7, according to Connolly’s release.

Reader comments

Mon, Aug 30, 2021

Retired at the end of 2020, here it is August 31 and still not receiving full annuity benefit. Tired of hearing about how much more productive government employees are teleworking from home when they quite obviously are not.

Mon, Aug 9, 2021

My Father was in a nursing home for 5 years and all money and savings went to paying for him leaving enough to pay the mortgage but not much else. To be able to get medicare and medicaid assistance he couldn't have any assets or "backup" funds. When he passed in June of 2021 OPM retrieved all funds in their joint account and we now have to wait 3-4 more months from now to get survivor annuities set up. There is no backup savings left! The transition should be much smoother as all information was given prior to his passing and the part where they retrieved pay they already sent caused overdrafts and maxing out my dad's old credit card before it could be closed. Terrible for my mom to be going through this.

Wed, Jul 14, 2021

How many of you over your career we’re lazy. Or maybe you just put something off because it’s going to be there tomorrow. Or you just took advantage of something because you could, because you were a government worker. I’ve seen it for my 40 some years the government. And you yes you, that are reading this more than likely were one. So if it takes OPM 60 to 90 days to get your pay right you should be thankful that they’re getting it right and that they’re not the typical government worker That you were. One more thing if you don’t have enough money to offset the 40% less or so you’ll get each month for three or four months and you shouldn’t be leaving. Of course I’m speaking in generalities so this doesn’t apply to everyone

Thu, Jun 3, 2021

3 months with NFC, 2 months and counting with OPM. No communication from OPM. It’s laughable how people, in effect, defend the inefficiency of government by saying employees should save more. I shouldn’t have to burn through 6 to 12 months of savings because of government incompetence.

Sun, May 9, 2021 AZ

I retired at the end of 2020, to date 5/6/21, my retirement packet is still MIA from OPM. WTF, how is it that any who retired at same time is already getting annuity?

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