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My Annuity and Benefits Retirement Eligibility Surveys

Disability Earnings Survey

The week of February 3, 2014, Retirement Eligibility and Services (RES) will mail 68,272 Disability Earnings Surveys (DES) for our retirement population of disabled retirees (annuitants) under age 60. The DES survey is mandated by law. Annuitants that are eligible for Disability retirement benefits are allowed to work while receiving this benefit. However, retirement law mandates an earnings limit of 80% to continue receiving a disability annuity. The 80% earnings limitation is considered to have been met if in any given calendar year the annuitant’s income is 80% of the current rate of pay for the position from which they retired. The survey allows Retirement Services to determine if disability annuitants are eligible to continue receiving retirement benefits or if they have earned enough to be considered restored to earning capacity due to their current employment.

The Disability Earnings Survey continues to be an affirmative response survey meaning the annuitant needs to respond only if they worked or were self employed and have earned income. The responses submitted from the annuitants should be signed and dated. A daytime telephone number is required. All forms must be completed and returned within 30 days.

Marital Survey

The week of November 18, 2013, Retirement Eligibility and Services mailed 13,213 Marital Surveys to widows and widowers that currently receive a benefit from a deceased federal employee. The Civil Service Retirement law establishes that surviving spouses are not permitted to remarry prior to age 55 (unless they were married to the deceased for at least 30 years prior to his or her death) and continue receiving a benefit. The Marital Survey is sent out in response to this law. This year’s survey requires a response from all survivors receiving a benefit. The form must be signed and dated. A daytime telephone number is required. All forms must be completed and returned within 30 days of the date of the form. The survey may be returned via mail or fax. If sending via fax, please send to 202-606-0022.

The Representative Payee Survey

The week of August 26, 2013, Retirement Eligibility and Services sent 13,500 Representative Payee Surveys to payees receiving benefits on behalf of annuitants, surviving spouses and disabled dependents that are not able to manage their own financial affairs. In an effort to protect the annuity rolls, we send this survey to ensure that the beneficiary is still living as well as to make certain that the person receiving the benefits on behalf of an annuitant is still the payee of record and that the payee is using the annuity in the best interest of the annuitant.

All payees must respond. The surveys should be returned by mail and not faxed. Once the surveys are returned, they are screened for completeness and compared to our records to make sure no changes are necessary. If any discrepancies are detected, additional information is requested. The Representative Payee has 30 days to respond. Benefits are suspended if a reply is not received.

FERS Annuity Supplement Survey

The week of May 20, 2013 Retirement Eligibility and Services (RES) mailed 32,000 Annuity Supplement Surveys. The Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) annuitants are entitled to a supplemental payment in addition to their FERS annuity benefits. This supplement represents what the annuitant would receive for their FERS civilian service from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is calculated as if they were eligible to receive SSA benefits on the day they retired.

Salary and/or wages the annuitant have earned after retirement can affect continued receipt of the annuity supplement, therefore, the supplement is subject to an earnings test. OPM surveys the annuitants in this category every year while they are in receipt of an annuity supplement to ask if they reported earnings (other than annuity benefits) for the previous year. This year the survey is being conducted in May. The responses submitted from the annuitants should be signed and dated. A daytime telephone number is required. All forms must be completed and returned as soon as possible.

The Representative Payee Survey

The week of June 13, 2011, Retirement Eligibility and Services sent 12,600 Representative Payee Surveys to payees receiving benefits on behalf of annuitants, surviving spouses and disabled dependents that are not able to manage their own financial affairs. To protect the annuity rolls, we send this survey to ensure that the beneficiary is still living and to make certain the person receiving the benefits on behalf of an annuitant is still the payee on record and that the payee is using the annuity in the best interest of the annuitant. This year we have requested additional information to enhance our processing. We are requesting the Social Security Number and the email address of the Representative Payee.

All payees must respond to the survey. The surveys should be returned by mail and not faxed. Once the surveys are returned, they are screened for completeness and compared to our records to make sure no changes are necessary. If any discrepancies are detected, additional information may be requested. The Representative Payee has 30 days to respond. Benefits may be suspended if a reply is not received.

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